^irmmmimMW/ j^ . /// * ////#/
In CM^W^ \%%%Jk^ of this wonderful publication, we
read about how people with power abuse those without power. Yes,
it could be the police or the DA or the PO or the judge. But it could
also be the OG, the Big Homie, the dealer with the fattest car. It
cold be a teacher, or a father. It could be the President of the United
But we have also learned the lesson that individual people can
make a difference, can change the world. Rosa PsktUs, when told to
move to the back of the bus in 1 955, did one of the most courageous
things an individual can do. She said, "No." Maybe this is what they
mean when they %9^, "Speaking truth to power." And who was Rosa
Parks? Just ^n ordinary person, a woman with no special powers, no
special protections. Just a person, like you.
One of our own Beat facilitators — one of the oldest — was
able to speak truth to power, and he's written about it. Back in
1980, before most of you were born, the government decided to
build a prison that was not on anyone's drawing board because they
needed a place to house Olympic athletes from around the world.
First it was an Olympic Village, complete with shops and theaters
and all kinds of goodies. And then, once the athletes went back to
Europe, it became a prison, stripped clean and left cold and gray.
At that time, our colleague was the director of ^n organization in
Washington, D.C. with the name, the National Moratorium on Prison
Construction. He and his colleagues immediately saw the human
rights' violation that this prison represented, and he went so far »%
to go to jail to protest.
The piece we're about to share was written by Michael liroll
(who facilitates in ^^n Francisco's Juvenile Justice Center and ^^n
Mateo's Juvenile Hall). On Monday, March 31, the %skn Francisco
Chronicle published his piece (Section B5) in a slightly edited form,
but we want to show you the piece »% he originally wrote it »% a
reminder that you possess the same power that he possessed (and
still possesses), the power to sx^ "No."
Protesting the Olympic Torch
By Michael A. liroll
The hoopla in %skn Francisco surrounding the forthcoming Olympic
Torch tvknnet and the promised demonstrations focused on China's
human rights' Sk\i\]k%e% reminded me of stn earlier Olympic protest
against human rights 9\ivkses — except those 9\ivkses were far closer
In 1980, the Winter Olympics were held in Lake Placid, New
York. As the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) contemplated
housing the large number of (mostly white) athletes who would be
descending on the tiny Alpine village, they went to Congress asking
for federal money to build temporary quarters. Congress responded
that the federal government was not in the business of providing
public money for private enterprises (we weren't East Germany, after
all), and advised that if the Committee could suggest a permanent
public after-use, then the money might be forthcoming.
In record time — working closely with the Federal ^vkteskvk of
Prisons — the USOC came up with their suggested "public" after-
use: a new federal prison. Without the Congressional oversight
that had always been required for such a massive project. Congress
appropriated the money, borrowed a blueprint from an existing
federal prison complex, clear cut a large swath of forest between
Lake Placid and ^Sktansk^ Lake, and construction began.
At that time, I coordinated a project headquartered in
Washington, D.C. called the National Moratorium on Prison
Construction (with our West Coast office in %skn Francisco). Along
with affiliate groups in New York, we launched a campaign to focus
attention on the irony and inhumanity of U.S. tax dollars to pay for
an "Olympic Village" — complete with discotheque, movie theater,
fancy food services and many other amenities — for the 1 1 00,
mostly white, European athletes who would first occupy the village
temporarily, only to be followed by its more permanent residents,
young, mostly black and Latino men from the vktYmn centers of New
York City and Philadelphia who would be imprisoned there, once the
complex was stripped of all the warm trappings of celebrity and left
Yi^tten and cold.
We called our campaign Stop The Olympic Prison, which made a
convenient acronym: S.T.O.P., and we designed a brilliantly colored
poster showing a black arm thrust through the Olympic rings under
the slogan. Stop The Olympic Prison (http://www.docspopuli.org/
Soon, we received a letter from the USOC threatening to sue us
for copyright infringement if we did not "cease and desist." Far from
ceasing and desisting, we launched our own pre-emptive strike: we
sued the USOC ourselves for skn "anticipatory breach" of our First
Amendment rights. Just before the Games began, a federal judge
ruled in our favor, noting that there was little likelihood of anyone
confusing our poster with the corporate goals of the Olympic
Committee, and opining that they must believe that Zeus himself,
from atop Mount Olympus, had given them exclusive rights to the
But then came the Olympic Torch Runnet through the streets
of Washington, D.C. and onto the steps of the U.S. Capitol in a
welcoming ceremony sponsored by the Senate. My offices were
only a few blocks from the building, and on the morning of that
ceremony (to which the public had been invited), I arrived with a
\iSknner that we had prepared to take to Lake Placid and display
during the Games. The Ymnnet read: "Olympic Torch = Freedom,
Olympic Prison = Slavery." I stood at the back of the crowd so Sk%
not to obstruct ^n^one's view, and raised the Yi^nnet.
Soon, a Capitol Hill Police captain approached and inquired if I
had a permit to demonstrate. I answered that I did not, but asked
if the many others in the crowd with signs welcoming the torch
runner had permits. The Captain told me they did not, but that my
sign was "not in the spirit of the ceremony," and ordered me to put it
down. If I refused, he said, he would have me arrested. I replied that
I believed the First Amendment protected my speech, and that if he
arrested me, I would sue. Again, he ordered me to relinquish the
YiSknnern Again, I refused. Two other officers then arrested me and
took me into custody. I was released some hours after the ceremony
ended, and charges against me were dropped. I sued.
While our campaign to Stop The Olympic Prison was unsuccessful
(today, more than twelve hundred young men, mostly men of color,
wte incarcerated there), my lawsuit succeeded. The result may be
instructive both for those contemplating how they might express
their opposition to the upcoming Olympic Games in China, and for
the government that hopes to impose "time, place and manner"
restrictions on such demonstrations. In a word, what my case
determined is that where there is "no obstruction of pedestrian or
vehicular traffic" by a single demonstrator (who does) "not threaten
or provoke violence," there is no right to impose the kinds of
restrictions allowed on larger, organized gatherings.
%skn Francisco officials might also want to consider this from
the court's decision: "Freedom of expression would not truly exist
if the right could be exercised only in an area that a benevolent
government has provided as a safe haven for crackpots." (That
would be me...) "(W)e do not confine the permissible exercise of
First Amendment rights to a telephone booth or the four corners of
A word to the wise...
By the way, even though he won his lawsuit, it took fifteen years
before the government stopped appealing their loss. And what did
he win? Well, the most important thing was a decision from the court
that redefined what a protest is — and what a protest is not — in
terms of what the government is allowed to control. For those who
see dollar signs whenever they say, "Sue the bastards," you should
also know one more thing. He was awarded a total of $15... one
dollar for every year it took the courts to finally resolve the case...
Before we close, here's this issue's topics that were discussed
prior to most of the writing that is featured in this fabulous issue.
The first topic, the not so popular, "Cleaning up for the county
rather than for yo' momma." - Honestly, when was the last time
you scrubbed your family's toilet? Why are you so anxious to fold
strangers' poopy underwear and wash their nasty dishes, but when
it comes to doing this for your family and housemates it ain't cool?
Do you love to be on clean-up crew here in Juvenile Hall? Share with
us an experience that you've had while on clean up crew. What is
the nastiest thing you've seen cleaned? Tell us about a time when
someone on the outs asked you to clean up. Did you do it? Why or
why not? After you've cleaned up some of the messes in here, will
you clean up once you get out?
Our second topic, "Living The Double Life" - Do you live a double
life, one part gangbanger or criminal, the other part a decent,
helpful person, going to school to achieve something, playing
sports, helping your mom and younger siblings? If so, does this
"double life" create problems for you, either at home or with your
homies? Does it ever leave you confused? What do you do when your
family wants you to do one thing, but your homies want you to do
another? Can you satisfy one part of your life without disappointing
the other? Are you struggling to give up this double life, and put
both feet on one path or the other? Which will you choose?
Our third topic, "Life Before Cell Phones" - You don't have to be
all that old to remember what it was like before everyone had his
or her own, personal cell phone. How many can remember when
you had to wait at home, sometimes for hours, for someone you
expected to call you? Do you remember having to look for a public
telephone at school or in a store or in a phone booth on the street
to make that call you just had to make? How has life changed for
you, or for your family, now that you are freed from phone lines
and stationary telephones? Have cell phones created any problems
for you? Have they made life on the streets faster? Have you lost
cell phones and had to pay for new ones? Why did you select the
mobile phone company you use? Now, tell us a cell phone story that
only you can tell, or just tell us how different life was before cell
The last topic, and most popular, "Disappointment" - How do
you deal with disappointment? When there is a situation that does
not work your way, how do you address your feelings? How do you
react to disappointment? Do you get anqry? How do you handle
your anger? Tell us of a time you were disappointed. Who has
disappointed you, or who have you disappointed? This week we
want to hear your thoughts on disappointment.
We hope you enjoyed this latest editorial note installment. We
want to thank Michael liroll for sharing his wonderful commentary
with The Beat community, and we also want to say how thrilled we
all are to have him back full-time!
The Beat Within, a weekly newsletter of writing and art b
incarcerated youth, is published by Pacific News Service.
At The Beat Within, we go through a lot of trouble to censor inappn
sexual remarks, foul language, and gang references. There is enough ten:
our commuities already-we don't aim to bolster it. It is in The Beat's inte
promote peace and unity. Our goal is to educate one another.
ishes the opinions and views expressed by the participants
lis is simply the pure voice of the youth. The views you
ly reflect those of the publisher, editor or staff. All rights
are reserved. Nothing 1
To our writers: What you write could be hazardous to you. Your words havt
consequences, and could be used to incriminate you. Try to illuminate youi
feelings and viewpoints without running the risk of providing ammunition foi
those who might use your words against you.
Senior Editors: Da
Assistant Editors: Micl
Staff: Pauline Craig, Jill Wolfson, Allan Tinker, Patricia Johnson, Amanda
Abies, Dennis Morton, Sheerly Avni, Brittany Bernard, Perry Jones, Brenda
Navarro, Elizabeth Crawford, Morghan Velez Young, Siliva Mortenson, An-
drew Barba, Estella Cisneros, Allen Huang, Nic Reiner, Angelica Zabanal,
Charles Labanowski, Kolby Hanson, Chelsea Sprick, Akima Edwards, Justine
Palefsky, Laura Vitaro, Alfred Dersidan and Neela Banerjee.
The Maricopa County, Phoenix, Arizona, Juvenile Probation Department
Beat Staff: Joe Szulecewski, M.A., Lisa Donsker, M.C., Hillary Shluker, M.C.,
Lisa Karczewski, M.A.
ner, D. Scott Herrmann.
Bernalillio County, New Mexico "The Land of Enchantment" Juvenile
Probation Department Beat Staff: Steve Serna
Art: Much props to everyone for the great art this week.
Spiritual Advisor: Jac
Special Volunteer: Na
Book Donor: Marisela Norte
Beat Supporters: The Beat Within greatefully acknowledges the generous sup-
port of funders of Pacific News Service's Youth Communications Programs
- California Arts Council, California Wellness Foundation, Christensen Fund,
Community Foundation of Silicon Valley, Community Technology Foundation
of California, Compton Foundation, Creative Work Fund, Cricket Island Foun-
dation, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Ford Foundation, James Irvine Foun-
dation, Marguerite Casey Foundation, Marin Community Foundation, Morris
Stulsaft Foundation, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Oakland Fund for Children
and Youth, Open Society Institute, Peninsula Community Foundation, Phil-
anthropic Ventures Foundation, S. H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Arts
Commission, San Francisco Foundation, Shinnyo-en Foundation, W. Clement
and Jessie V. Stone Foundation, Stone Circles Foundation, Stuart Foundation,
Surdna Foundation, The California Endowment, Tides Foundation, Van Loben
Sels/Rembe Rock Foundation, Vanguard Public Foundation, Wallace Alexan-
der Gerbode Foundation, Walter S. Johnson Foundation, Youth Justice Funding
Collaborative, the Zellerbach Family Fund and individual donors.
Writers: Thanks to all the participants in our workshops in the San Francis-
co, Maricopa County Arizona, Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Bernalillio
County New Mexico, Santa Cruz and Marin County Juvenile Halls. If you have
any questions or comments about The Beat Within, or if you would like to
become a subscriber, contact us at: 275 Ninth St. SFCA. 94103 or call (415)
503-4170 or check us out at:
///////#/////. /// ////#/ //. //
P/ms fff iJ^s H^ff^
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I'm Still Here
What's good Beat? This Gangsta Shadow your "Baby Boy
Demon." I think this is one of the first times I'm actually just
writing without rhyming.
Well, I remember when I first came to The Beat back in
Bl. I was barely into my teen years... No, wait ... I was 12
'cause I went the first time in San Mateo Hillcrest. I didn't
want to write back then. I was like, "The Beat Within?' I
thought it was a rapping place, but I was kinda right. I didn't
really start to write until I came in at the end of 2005 after I
turned 15. Then I was like, "OK, I'ma do this right here." So
that's how I became known in The Beat. Even if I didn't like
your responses, I was happy 'cause I was in it.
Fast forward to 2008. I have two kids, Selena (two years
old), and Angel (ten months). I love both of my kids very
much, even if my baby mama got on my nerves. She back in
El Salvador. She with her family. We broke up and she didn't
want to help raise the kids. Fine by me. See, her family didn't
think it was right messing with a Puerto Rican because of
some dumb shhh, but it's cool.
To give you a lil' history, I came from Puerto Rico at five
months. My moms from San Juan, dad's from Ponce. They
met through a friend at college 'cause at first they were livin'
together in New York. Went back to Puerto Rico. My mom had
me there, came to California, San Francisco
I was raised in The Mission until 1994 when cops took me
away. See, my dad was 17 and my mom was 16. My grandma
and the social worker didn't think that my mom was fit to
raise me, and my dad didn't live with us. He started dating
another Puerto Rican lady. So at four years old, I went to a
foster home in Hunters Point for a year. Went to another one
for three and a half years, and the last one for five years.
I was bad as hell, always into something. One lady in
foster care named me Menso (stupid) because I always had to
do something wrong. Always on punishment but never acted
like it. After the last foster home, got sent to a group home.
That's when I met The Beat 'cause my first case, and I was in
Went through 18 group homes (failed all of them in San
Francisco), two in South City, one in Turlock, one in Merced,
two in Stockton, one in Tulare. Ran from all of them. I even
been to Seneca Center 'cause the judge thought I was 5150,
but I showed her, though. I'll be 18 in nine months and nine
days. (Yep, I'm counting.)
I got to go to a group home in Santa Rosa. Right now I got
a strike and two felonies. I face a maximum of fourteen years,
eight years in the Y and six years in the pen. I've been through
a lot. They gave me out-of-home placement, but its nothing
'cause for the past many years I had out-of-home placement.
I've seen a lot, done a lot and participated in a lot. But I can
truly say I've been to hell and came back unscratched.
And to let all my haters and enemies know, keep sayin'
my name you making me into a celebrity. I ain't never left. I'm
still here and goin' to stay here.
-Gangsta Shadow, San Francisco
From The Beat: This is one of the best autobiographical sicetches we've
read in The Beat, full of the icinds of details that turn an ordinary piece
of writing into something extraordinary. Somewhere along the line in
all those group homes and foster homes and out-of-home placements,
you learned how to express yourself with skill and honesty, and that
is no small accomplishment! We hate the fact that you will now have
to spend the next portion of your life in jail and prison, but we know
that many people with less ability than you have come through those
situations, and have achieved great things. Yes, you have experienced
the equivalent of hell, GS, but you are not unscathed. You are scarred
las, to some extent, we all are), and we think it is in your interest (and
the interests of your children) to examine those scars and realize that
they only partly describe you. You are much more — much greater —
than the sum of your worst deeds. Whether you want to admit it or
not, we see a warmth buried deep within your heart that you have had
to learn to protect with a hard exterior, if you can spend the time you
have trying to examine what% beneath that exterior, if you can be alone
with your heart, we believe your intelligence will let you see yourself
in a different light, and that light could be like a beacon to a far better
future. As a child, you had no control over the painful circumstances you
kept finding yourself in. Now, as a young adult, you can begin to craft
a different future so that you are in control of those circumstances. We
know that the easy thing for you would be just to accept the image you
want to portray — that of "Baby Boy Demon" — and not do the hard
work of self-examination and critical thinking. But you are neither a
baby boy nor a demon, and you are blessed with uncommon gifts. Don't
throw those gifts away.
"Smokey, I'm Not the Smartest Guy in the
My favorite movie is "Friday." The star of the movie is Ice
Cube. One of the reasons that I like this movie is because
it's very realistic. The movie is very down to earth ... it
makes you think about how life really is in the hood.
One of the lines in the movie that I really took to liking
"Smokey I'm not the smartest guy in the world, but from
here it looks like you taking a shhh."
I like this line in the movie because I can remember
times in my neighborhood. The movie has a lot of kids
growing up in the ghetto can relate to the scenes because
it's like every day life to them. Plus to see something in a
movie that's a part of your every day life is good to watch.
It can teach you something to do and some things not to
Overall the movie was great. It was a good movie
because it touched how life is in the hood. There were
parts from the movie that were hella funny. There were
also pints in the movie where they were making jokes and
it really shouldn't have been a joke.
I saw that because if there was a little kid watching the
movie, and they see all the stealing, killing and fighting,
they might take it the wrong way.
I say that because if there was a little kid watching the
movie, and they see all the stealing, killing, and fighting,
they might take it the wrong way, like since it's on the
movie that it's cool to do. It's bad because it's like giving
kids the wrong message, like all of that is cool, but it's
not. It sends them the wrong messages, you never know...
they might go out and try to do some killing, fighting and
stealing. But overall, the movie was great.
From The Beat: Great review, Stewie! You could make a career out of
this! So what age is the 'right' age for someone to see Friday? How old
were you when you first saw it? Did it influence you to do bad things?
And if seeing violence and stealing on film has a bad effect on children,
what do you think of when how it effects them when they see all that
stuff in real life?
Gotta Set Myself Straight
Disappointment? Yeah, I'mdisappointed. I'mdisappointed
with the fact that some people don't understand that there
ain't nothing I could do to fix the situation I left behind
when I came here. Disappointed with the fact that my lil'
brother pickin' up bad habits and stressin' out my moms.
Disappointed that I can't help the people that need me
right now. All these things that are going on out there and
I can't control a single one.
But how do I deal with this disappointment? Well,
ain't much I could do but call my people and give a word
of my advice. But everything that's happenin' out there
only seems to get worse. So I'ma just lay back, chill here
'til my court next month, and pray for the best. Hopefully
my people will make some better decisions like I will
when I get out.
I want my girl and my two sisters to know that I wish
y'all the best. My partner in and my homie need to keep
their heads up, too. Gotta use this time to set myself
straight. Gotta go.
-Bakgwai, San Francisco
From The Beat: Your list of disappointments could be read as a warning to
all who think (and write) that being here "ain't nothing." It's something,
and you've laid out just exactly what that something is. We are most
encouraged by your commitment to "make some better decisions" when
you get out, because it is in those decisions that your freedom lies. What
are you planning to do (and not to do) when you get out of here so that
you don't have to endure any more of the disappointments you write
about, and so that you won't disappoint yourself again?
This is the first love story I was in love with M. She was
my neighbor who lived behind my grandma's house. She
lived there with her step dad, mom, two sisters and lil'
brother. She was the girl next door.
At first, I didn't want to be with her, but my cousins
peer pressured me to get with her, so I did. I went out
with her for three months in the summer. It was summer
love. She loved me and I loved her. She was my first love.
I wanted to take her to Vegas but she couldn't go, so I
stayed with her and we went to San Francisco I bought
her a season pass to Raging Waters. We went, but not a
lot because her mom didn't let her out a lot. But everyone
told me, "When you gonna hit it?" I said, "Don't trip."
I wanted to take her to a motel to handle business, but
her mom didn't let her out. That was a week before school
started. When I didn't get none, I dumped her. She cried
for hours and my cousins told me about it then school
started. She wrote me a letter. She wanted me back. I said
no. She said she'll do anything, but I still said no. At the
time I thought I was a playa 'cause everyone called me it,
but now looking at it at 17 1/2, 1 have a different mentality.
I'm sorry for what I did to her.
At the end of the year she moved to Texas. I never seen
her again, but I wrote to her telling her I was sorry and I
changed. Now I see boys doing what I'm doing, breaking
girls hearts and not caring being playas is what everyone
wants to be. Me, I don't wanna be that no more. I hate it.
Now if I get a girl, I will be faithful and not lie to her. I will
be honest. I feel remorse for what I did, but I will never do
what I did to M ever again to any girl.
-Vincent, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We think the most important word that describes what
you did to M, and what you see others doing to other girls, is the word
"boy." You were acting liice a boy, not a man, and you let other boys push
into. It's not just that you're 1 7 and half now, because we know plenty
of males much older than you who are still boys in how they think of
females and how they treat them. "Handling business" doesn't happen
at a motel, it happens every day in any real relationship, and it requires
work and attention. You have learned a lot and grown a lot, and it
is a pure pleasure to see how deeply you have been affected by this
experience, how willing you are to criticize yourself, and how ready you
are to act like a man. Any dog can do the deed, but only a responsible
male can move from boyhood into manhood. Did you ever get a letter
back from M when you wrote her your apology? We think that when you
do find that special person, she will be very lucky to have you.
I Have A Wonderful Family
I been locked up for a problem called curfew. I went to court
and I didn't get out and I am really sad because I'm putting
my family through a lot of stress. They come and visit me
every day because they love me with their whole hearts, and
I love them with my whole heart.
I got two parents that adopted me and I have a wonderful
family. I clean up my room and wash my own clothes now
because my parent told me to. I have a sister named Leayla
and I love her because she is in the family and I stay right
next to her like she is my DNA. She helps me a lot. I have a
lot of fun with the whole family. I love them with my whole
I go to a school called Rise, and my school goes on a
lot of adventures. I love the school because it help me learn
and I have fun there. I love my whole family, Leayla, Richard,
Kathy. Teddy is my cat that I love from the SPCA. He is black
and he is part of the family. I can't wait to get out of here and
change around my life. I love my family.
-Don Cardona Michael, San Francisco
From The Beat: This is a wonderful piece, a tribute to a family that you
clearly love and that clearly loves you. How lucky you are to have such
a loving family to go home to, and how much you owe them! Don't
make them sad because you are locked up. Do the things you know you
should do, the things they ask you to do, and stop doing the things
that lead you away from them. Telling them how much you love them
is very important. But shoiving them hoiv much you love them is even
Man, the economy is outrageous because how they
gonna raise taxes, tolls from the bridge from Marin to San
Francisco and from Oakland to San Francisco, gas prices,
and the dollar isn't worth a dollar no more, it's worth less
than a dollar! European money is worth more than US
money. The US is in debt with itself and it's spending
money it don't have on these wars and stuff. The country
is bankrupt. We owe billions of dollars to the Chinese
and ourselves, the taxpayers. Anybody who got a legit
job is gonna have to pay these bills off. People are gonna
have less spending money — they've gotta buy their needs
first, 'cause wants always come last, but some people put
wants firsts. Wants is like extra clothes and shoes, needs
is food for your family and things for your home.
If I was one of the high persons, a civil rights leader,
I would honestly — I don't know, I wouldn't know where
to start. The money being worthless, us common folk,
people from the cities and the rural areas — it's only
gonna affect us in ways like gas, food, taxes. It's more
or less gonna affect the big economies, not the little,
like McDonald's probably gonna have a $5 or $4 menu,
no more $1 price. The poor really gonna suffer. Once it
hits the big economy, it's us common folk gonna suffer
-Tha Dude, San Francisco
From The Beat: You've given the state of the US economy a lot of
thought, and not just about how it's affecting you, but how it affects
many who are rich and also poor. It hurts to know that all those people
are losing their homes from those sub-prime mortgages, and are living
with relatives, in tents in parks, or are now homeless, and that the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are killing so many and bankrupting our
country. We appreciate your opinions.
Me And My ilncle
When I was lil' my uncle was drinking and he had too
I told him I had a boyfriend he said, "Let me show you
what he is going to do to you."
But I told him no, and he still kept telling me, "let me
No no no... you're going to hurt me. Stop, get off me.
Please stop, I'm going to call the po-po, stop.
And he was telling me to "shut up bitch, ain't no one
going to believe you 'cause you young and stupid and I am a
grown ass man, but do you think they really want to believe
My uncle kept doing it to me, until I was fighting back for
myself when I was young. But he just kept hittin' taking away
my womanhood from me. It hurt so much that I couldn't take
it anymore, so I just stay still and let him do what he wanted
to do, and I want to tell someone but he said he would kill
Later on I told my daddy and he didn't believe me, and
I told my grandmamma, and she didn't believe me at all, so
I told my mom and Te-Te and they believed me and I called
the po-po (police). They wanted to report it and I told them
no. My mom and Te Te told them what I told them so the po-
po took the report and told them to be on the watch for my
But if my uncle was to do that to my sister I will kill his
ass, but Beat, that is all I know. I will be writing y'all from my
group home when I get there. But Beat I want you to know
that I am happy to let y'all know what happened to me when
I was young.
From The Beat: We're glad you wrote on it too, Jacqueline. When you
write what happened, it^ a good way to remind us that a strong young
person can rise above anything! What do you picture when you imagine
the kind of person you would want to share your life with or be close to
in the future? Take care, you have our good thoughts.
Yo me pongo a pensar en mi madre.Es tan triste estar
lejos de sus seres queridos. Yo paso pensando tan to en
mis hermanos. Como quisiera tener a mi padre vivo como
otros lo tienen. Cuidenlo mucho.
Yo me pongo triste al ver como ellos vienen a ver a sus
hijos. Me pongo a llorar. Me pongo triste con un amigo
que tengo aqui porque el me conto que adelante de el
mataron a su abuelo. Yo le dije, a mi no me gusta decir
esto, pero a mi me mataron a mi padre en frente de mi. Yo
venia del monte en una bicicleta, tenia un machete y me
pare porque mi papa estaba parado ahi. Yo lo queria llebar
a casa porque estaba borracho. En ese momento, tenia
una cicatriz en la cara. Me gustaria contarle lo demas,
pero no puedo porque estoy llorando.
From The Beat: No necesitamos mas palabra para saber lo dificil que ha
sido enfrentar ese suceso. Sentimos mucho que hayas pasado por esa
experiencia que a nadie le gustaria pasar. Queremos decirte que apesar
de lo que te ha pasado, hay una vida por delante. No dejes que esto te
dirija a un mal camino. Tienes que buscar de evitar en pensar en este
momento dificil porque te esta afectado de una manera u otra. La vida
sigue y hay muchas cosas bonitas que la vida ofrece. Date la oportunidad
de disfrutarlas y ser una persona diferente. Puedes ser muy feliz si asi
lo deseara. Si crees que esta experiencia te esta molestando tu estado
emosional muy frecuente, hay personas profesionales capacitadas para
ayudarte con esto. Piensala! Estamos aqui para escucharte. Nos gustaria
escuchar el final de tu escritura sino te causa molestia. Gracias por tus
I think about my mother. It's very sad to be away from your
loved ones. I spend my time thinking about my brothers.
How I wish to have my father alive like others. And to take
care of them.
I get sad to see when their parents come to see their
kids. I start to cry. I get sad with a friend who I have here.
He shared a story to me about how they killed his grandpa'
in front of him. I told him that I don't like to say this, but
my dad was murdered in front of me as well. I was riding
back home on my bike, I had a machete and I stopped
because my dad was standing there. I wanted to take him
because he was drunk. In that moment, he had a scare on
his face. I would like to share the rest with you, but I can't
because I'm crying.
-Oscar, San Francisco
From The Beat: We don't need to read the rest of your story to know
how hard it must have been to face a tragedy like that one. We are
sorry that you had to live such an experience anyone wouldn't like to
live. We want to tell you that besides what happened to you, you still
have a life to live. Don't let this misguide you to a bad road. You should
find a way to avoid thinking about this because it is affecting in one
way or another. Life continues and there are many beautiful things life
has to offer. Life continues and there are many beautiful things life
offers. Give yourself the chance to enjoy those things and be a different
person. You can be very happy with your life, if you believe that this
bad experience is affecting you emotional state very often, there are
professionals assigned to these types of issues that can help you. Think
about it. We are here to listen to you too. We would love to hear the
ending part of this writing if you don't mind, that is when you are ready.
Thanks for your words.
Lonely Nights, Lonely Days
Lonely nights and lonely days,
waking up with headaches
six in the morning
taking cold showers.
Don't know where I'm going.
No one has the answer.
Living for today -
patiently waiting until tomorrow-
killed with sorrow.
It's like there's a tall border. . .
adrenaline's pumped, wanting to jump.
Fifty to life.
For the life I chose,
my mom's permanently bruised.
All I want is one more chance,
but on the daily
I'm doing the evil dance.
Slowly burning in a fire.
Wanting to go home is my desire.
What's my future?
Body feeling numb with no gravity,
feeling pain like cavities.
I still walk with my head up,
a smile on my face,
hunger for freedom to leave this place.
-Oscar, Santa Cruz
From The Beat: Oscar, we icnow you are in a tough situation. We also
icnow that you have an opportunity to demonstrate that you're growing
as a person. Judges taice many factors into consideration when they
maice decisions. We're hoping that the Oscar the judge sees will be a
different Oscar from the one who came to juvy a few months ago. We're
hoping that we can help you along that road to growth. Don't give up.
By the way, nice writing this weeic.
Two Different Lives
I'm tired of this, I can't keep
Leavin' one house and go on
To the next house. I can't keep
Looking over my shoulder.
Trying not to get caught up. I gotta
Let someone go, but I don't think it's fair
Just to stay with one. So I'm sorry but I
Guess this is the last time.
-Lil' Ols, Alameda
From The Beat: A sad, powerful poem. As usuai, you are struggling with
serious issues in a mature way. Which is the house that you want to
make your "home" - and what is getting in the way of making that
happen? And when you say "Guess this is the last time," what exactly
do you mean?
M]f Achievement, My Goodbire
First and for most, let me extend my at most love and
respect to all who come across my words.
About five years ago, I was incarcerated for the first
time. Ever since then, I have had my own recitursmo with
on going violation for probation. I have been faced with
street redentials, pen credentials and normal civilian
Although I have been incarcerated for periods of
time, I have finally came to a conclusion. The system will
perform its utmost to keep anyone vulnerable to its ways.
The knowledge of which I obtained has projected this
Now that I'm an adult in the system's eyes, (18 years
old). They are letting me go (washing their hands of me)
and leaving me for the adult system. But, I ain't entering
the outside world blind or unprepared. I'm in college, I
have my own place and I'm some-what able to clean my
I thank The Beat for being here for us and expressing
our most inner thoughts (the appropriate ones). Well
Beat, this is my last piece. I'm out this book for good.
After about ten months, I'm out this time for good! Well I
exit this piece the same way I've entered with my utmost
love and respect to all. Stay educating ya' selves!
-Educated Gangster, Santa Clara
From The Beat: What an expression! You're on the right road. Keep on
woricing on your education. The more you learn, the wiser and powerful
you become. You know how the system works, and now it is time you
play with them using the knowledge you've gained while being under
its possession. The way you speak is so honest and convincing. Keep it
that way and you may make a change in the future. Who knows, maybe
you were born to become a good public defender or a lawyer and make
a big difference. We're proud of your accomplishment and the way you
are guiding your ideas and life.
It takes courage to always stand tall.
It takes courage to never let your head fall.
It takes courage to call your self manly.
It takes courage to stand up like a man and provide for
It takes courage to make your self from a boy to a man.
It takes courage to put the hood in the past.
It takes courage to live life
'cause you never know how long life is gonna last.
It takes courage to hustle on and off the block
It takes courage to get your dope and separate it and sell
them by different rocks.
It takes courage to even stand next to a knock.
It takes courage to wear a certain logo on a certain hat.
It takes courage to walk down the next block, 'cause you
never know when them rivals is coming to stomp your
It takes courage to be known as a boss.
It takes courage to buy what you want no matter what it
It takes courage to track down a connect to get a glock
fresh out the box
It takes courage to see someone's brain splatter
You can't read no one's mind, so you know that they
want or know what they're after.
Every one in the room knows it takes courage for your
name to be known as a factor.
From The Beat: it takes even more courage to step away from that life, to
risk ridicule, losing "friends" stepping away from the known (gangster
life) into the unknown (a life of hard work and personal success, the life
your mom dreams for you). Do you have that kind of courage?
Being a Dad
What up Beat. Well my own topic is about my girl who
I call my wife because she's two months pregnant and of
course I'm going to be there during my kid's birth because
I'm only in here for two misdemeanors so I already served
close to forty days, so when I get out I'm going to dedicate
my life to going to school and work so I can give my kid
what he/she wants.
I basically want to be the best father and later in life
to be the best husband. I just pray to God to help me live a
good gang-free normal life and have a very good job to buy
diapers, clothing, a stroller just for my baby and that's all
that matters to me is my baby's mama and my kid.
I'm tired of living the harsh reality of these gang-
infested streets because if I end up dead or doing life for
some buUshhh then my baby won't have a father to come
to when he/she wants advice from a man's point of view or
I might not be there for the first day of school. Well Beat
-Sammy, Santa Clara
From The Beat: What an optimistic piece! it's clear to us that you love
your lady and your baby and you're determined to live a better life when
you get out of here. It's what we want to see for all of you! We hope
for the best for you and remember that living the 'normal' life doesn't
mean it will be easy. Just keep in mind what and who you love and it
will get you through it.
What courage means to me is rather deep... like meeting
my mom for the first time at Sunny Hills Group Home.
Almost 15 years later they found her, and when I seen
her I wanted to ask so much, like, "Why did you give me
up?" and "why didn't you come back for me?"
When I was at the group homes and the kids would
jump me and steal my stuff, I would yell out and say "I
can't wait for my mom to come get me..." and the staff
and kids would say in unison "Yo' mama don't want you,
that's why she sent you here!"
I was like, "you're wrong, she's coming back..." I felt
like she was the only one that could save me, and she
never came, and I often wondered what her hugs felt like,
if she was hip or old school, if I would ever do the electric
slide with her.
I would say "When I get older I'm going to invite my
mom to my proms and dances," and when I met her all
that was out the door. She said "I don't want nothing to
do with you, Martell, or Kevin, just stay away from me."
Until one day my foster mom picked me up and she
cared for me, and she didn't have no husband, and it was
just me and her and she came to my basketball games
and boxing class and recitals, and then on out I started
being around my females - mom, my cousin that some of
y'all know, and my sister Michelle.
They weren't blood, no, but blood couldn't have made
us any closer. And I never had a father figure, so in my
mind they don't exist.
Still, to this day, it took courage to trust my foster
mom after being hurt by my mother.
So if you have a story like mine's, don't worry. Come
up here and tell it, even if you have to cry... because
everyone has courage, you just have to find it. That is
what courage means to me. Taking that step to trust
someone after all you've been through.
-Sydy Bo, Alameda
From The Beat: There are so many lessons in courage in this piece, the
courage you showed as a young boy, holding on to a dream that helped
you survive those daric days, the courage to shout back at the people
taunting you, the courage, like you say, to love again, and finally
the courage to lead by example, to tell the story of what you've been
through and encourage others to do the same. Bravo!
Where My Daddy?
Raised by the streets, never knew his pops.
Poised in the 'hood with the thugs and knocks.
Moms alone, trying make ends meet.
Working three odd jobs to put J's on his feet.
Roaches in the room where he slept at night.
Twelve years old, smoking weed, 'cause it felt so right.
Sip a little bit a gin 'til his body numb.
Starting popping as a young teen, puttin' pills on his
Mad at the world, what he do? He run.
Ran away from his home without taking his gun.
Moms took it from him, her eyes full of tears.
Found it in his dresser drawer, and it topped her fears.
Arrested on a robbery, he was sent to the halls.
Three days in his room, just starin' at the walls.
They put him on probation to see how he would act.
Did good for ten months and then they brought him right
Burglary charge, and he tried to fight the police.
Now he sittin' in the halls, waitin' his release.
They gave him twenty days; he did it real fast.
Got out and was motivated all about cash.
So he hustled with his cousins, pulling licks for scritch.
Got laced by OGs, money over a beezie.
Hit a lick and got caught with his potna in crime.
Nobody was gone snitch; they both did the time.
They shipped him off to an all-boys school
But he was up there, hawgin', sayin' forget the rules.
He didn't lick, somebody snitched, but didn't want the
Police was in his face, asking him for the story.
He said he didn't know, so they gave him a look.
They said, "You don't tell us what happened — you're gonna
Shrugged his shoulders, shook his head, white faces turned red.
Police was hella mad, but enough was said.
They couldn't cuff him up, 'cause there wasn't any evidence.
So they took him back to his original residence.
Ran away from home; roUas caught him thizzin'.
Tried to tell 'em where he lived, but he was also slizzin'
(perkin' or leanin' Robitussin.)
They booked him on possession of a blue naked lady, lamic
(high) in the halls
So you know he goin' crazy
From The Beat: Is this young man you? You raise a whole lot of
interesting questions, such as since this young man knows his mother
is working so hard and so long trying to earn money to keep her family
together, why doesn't this teenager tell her he doesn't need Js, which
can cost from $150 to $200 or more? Why is he using a gun? Who is
he terrorizing, threatening or hurting or worse? You must have a good
heart for this young man, whether he's someone else or you, but can you
see his hurt and confusion is driving him to self-destruct? If this young
man came to you for advice, what would you tell him? How would you
help him? If this guy is you, can you learn from your own wisdom and
listen to your heart?
Love's an unpredictable
gift from up above.
You can search but you will not find,
even if it's always on your mind,
and you feel like you got left behind.
Until that one special day
when you find that person
that makes it so you can't look away
and you finally realize your gay.
-Rainbow, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is one of the greatest Beat poems of all time. And
even though it's kindof silly, it also captures something sweet. We miss
you already. Rainbow!
Pressure On My Heart
Death is watching
Death is waiting
For you to be the one to fall
My prayers are answered at the barrel of the gun
Gotta pull the trigger
Gotta end my life quicker
I'm stuck in this hate getting dragged down
I was five deep I'm the only one now
How long will it last for me to be in the darkness
Running for my life in the land that's heartless
Cause he died in my arms
I was looking in his eyes
He kept screaming I'm sorry mama never meant to lie
Take care of my kids make sure they grow high
For eternity now I shall be in the sky
-Jesse, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is a very dark piece. But why do you feel so much
hate? Can't that hate turn into anything positive? Why do you have
to make everything so negative? This life is already as negative and
harsh as it is and all we can do is make it a little easier and better for
DIANE MARCIAL RIP
I found out today that my aunt died yesterday.
We used to go ice skating. It was fun - she fell on her
behind and I started laughing. She took me somewhere in
I'm not gonna read this out loud 'cause it's gonna
make me cry. She used to take me to school, and I used
to talk to her when I was feelin' down. She used to tell me
I'm her little angel, when I was like 12 years old. ... she
was like a mother to me. She's my mom's sister .... When
I was young she used to sing me lullabies, she made me
She died yesterday - she died of a heart attack. ... I
called my mom today to come to my court date tomorrow
and she told me. My mom was crying when she told me....
I just broke down and cried and I dropped the phone....
She was a nice loveable caring person. If she could
here me now, I would tell her I love her, I miss her, and
she will always be in my heart.
From The Beat: It took a lot of courage to write this piece from in the
middle of your grief, and to share it with the rest of The Beat. We are
sure that your aunt icnew your love for her, and that her love for you
will stay in your heart even though she's gone. Let that love help keep
Love to niif hrother living IH peace
and to all mt/ loved ones that
didn't waKe It
I have a friend. He thinks like me, looks like me, acts
like me, but ain't just the same.
He walks like me, talks like me, but we're on different
He has the same name, he has the same last name too.
While he's at school studying,
I'm on the block chugging.
At night, he sits at home with his family and kid.
Me, I'm just with the homies talking about the crime we
He wakes up in the morning thinking if today's his day
to find a four-leaf clover.
Me, I w£ike up in the ciftemoon with the fattest h£ingover .
But yet we're so the same
Every thought we think comes out at the same time.
Our heart beats so equally, it makes a perfect rhyme.
But then again we're so different
See, his thought was to live simple and easy
And mines, well you can say I try to catch the beezies.
I party and don't think twice.
And him, he's with family playing monopoly tonight
Gotta go, time for me to roll the dice.
-Lefty, Santa Clara
From The Beat: TWo people in one, but only one can withstand/As Abe
Lincoln said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand, "/No one of
u% is just one thing or the other/But there comes a time to choose —
please yourself, or please your mother/You're wise enough to see the
complexities in what it means to be human/But are you wise enough
to avoid the deadly pitfalls that are loomin'?/We hope you can put the
pieces together and become one/So that you are blessed by the rising,
and not cursed by the setting %un
I Get Disappointed
Living The Doubie Life
I don't' get that mad anymore because I get
disappointed a lot.
My mom and dad are both from a gang,
my mom and dad used to fight
about what set me and my brothers were goning to rep.
My brother didn't pick any of their sets, and my parents
got mad. My turn was up and I picked my set,
got ranked in and my biggest disappointment
was when they said I was cut off.
My life was over and my mom £ind dad still don't tcdk to me
as much any more.
My twin sisters cut me and my parents off,
she thinks gangs are for stupid low life's
that don't got any thing better to do with their lives
then to shoot people, smoke week and get arrested.
My sisters took the good road
one of the twins are going to college next year
with a soccer scholarship and I barley finished the 7th
how sad is that.
-Shannon, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: Shannon maybe your twin knows something? If she's
doing good and not getting locked up or doing drugs maybe you should
think about the road you're on and the one she is on. If your other
sister is going to collage and doing well because she is not in a gang or
doing drugs maybe you should start listening to your siblings? Maybe
what they are saying is true? Would you rather be free or be locked up
because your in a gang and doing drugs? Life is all about choices, its
time you made the right one.
Yeah, I live the double life. Growing up the streets took
over 'cause moms wasn't there. I had to feed myself. But
I had my granny, a very special person that anyone could
I've done things in my life that was good, real good.
Getting my education was one thing that was taught to
me by that special person, and I prospered from down. I
wasn't tryin' to have only one chance. I want two. Either
get my money and take care of my family legit, or do it the
otha way, hustle.
My patnas neva get on my line about going to school
because they my real patnas. They even tell me to go to
school and do what I gotta do. That's one of the reasons
why I still hang with them. I want to make my life as
simple as it can be.
A goal that I've had ever since I was little was to go to
heaven, so I know I'ma have to choose. So in life when I'm
ready and I know I want go back, I'ma turn my life over to
god, and hopefully my homies will do the same.
Love to my brother living in peace and to all my loved
ones that didn't make it.
-Dontae, San Francisco
From The Beat: We very much appreciate the honesty of this piece,
Dontae. There is so much positive here. Not just your desire to finish
school (which is a must), but also your desire to live sk% simply sk% you
can, and to go to heaven. Our biggest fear, though, is that by putting
off the time when you stop the hustle and turn your life to God, you are
only prolonging the possibility that something bad will happen before
you make your choice. You know you can't live a double life forever, and
so we wonder how long you think you have, and how many chances you
get. You cannot serve two masters, so we urge you to make the right
choice without waiting until it's too late.
To The Beat Within
Yo Beat, this is the homeboy Cost-E-Yone. This week is
my last week in Juvenile Hall. Next week, I'll be making
my five-hour flight to Wyoming for the 12-18 month
Normative Program. With that said, this week I would like
to throw some shout outs to all those who helped me
take something from my 6 month stay and helped make
it livable. But before I get to that let me share a few words
A famous man named Lao-Tse once said, "The journey
of a thousand miles begins with one step."
Here's my word of wisdom to all the homeboys locked
up... Many cats come in here and look at this as a setback
or a proof of failure. What I want to say if that everyone
can take something out of this experience. It can only
hold you back if you let it hold you back.
For me, being in here has actually taught me a little
here and there. About two months ago I decided I wasn't
going to let the system make me feel like a failure. Since
then I've been trying my hardest to take something from
my experience so I won't come back. I've decided to make
this my first step towards my thousand mile journey of
Now... for my shoutouts...
My first shoutout is to The Beat Within. I want to
thank them for making it possible for youngsters to
express themselves in words when all others keep trying
to hold us back. Much Honor and Respect to The Beat.
My next shoutout is to the staff of SCCJH: Mr. Walker,
Mr. Matau, Mrs. Gonzales and all of last year's staff from
B-10. Much Honor and respect. Also I would like to
send a shoutout to last year's staff of B6, Ms. Joseph,
Mr. Gutierrez, and all others. The staff at Juvenile Hall
has helped me change in a small way. That made a big
difference. Much Honor and Respect.
Also I would like to send a shoutout to my family who
has stuck by my side through thick and thin and seen
potential in me when I could only see darkness. Much
Honor, Respect, and Love.
Also a shoutout to all incarcerated. Keep your heads
up and stay solid!
And last but not least: a shoutout to myself. My
self-respect and determination has pulled me through 6
months of this buUshhh dead time. But it's in me to be
successful so I won't quit now. Honor and Respect to all.
-Cost-E-Yone, Santa Clara
From The Beat: This is one of the most inspiring pieces we've seen. It is
a courageous thing to be able to use this experience to better your self.
We icnow that it is difficult to find positives in the Hall, but you have.
We hope that you have taken your first, second, and third steps of the
thousand mile journey to success. We Icnow you can succeed because of
this attitude. Honor and Respect to you, Cost-E-Yone.
Have you ever felt the feeling of disappointment?
When someone tells you one thing and does another?
Well I have...
On the 26th I had court and the day before, my PO told me
for sure I was getting out on drug court.
But then when I went in front of the judge,
they told me that I'm going to go out of town for three
I was so mad but there was nothing I could do but cry.
As I continued to cry,
I knew I was going and all
I could do was just deal with it and do my time.
So now as I'm waiting to go, I can't stop thinking of why
I did this shhh to disappointment myself.
From the age of 14 to 17, I was running away from home.
I always blamed it on my mom.
Now that I'm almost 18, 1 can see that it was all just me.
-Gloria, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: Although it^ very hard to be sent away from home, it's
not the end of your world. Being away will hopefully keep you out of
trouble and out of the system. Not everyone has the chance to go to a
new place to experience support and treatment, it's all in the way you
look at it. If you complain about it, you'll do poorly. If you see the
good it will do you, you will succeed. We hope you make the best of
Love is Frustrating
So, love is a difficult thing.
Especially when the person I love is constantly
My dad has been my biggest disappointment.
Who leaves their daughter on the porch in the cold all
Then doesn't let her in to use the bathroom?
Damn, that's sad. But you know what? I still keep my
head up high and am taking care of my shhh.
As much as some people show me their sympathy, it's
not me that needs it - it's my dad. I'll be doing shhh big
while my dad is sitting waiting for his child support chec
to live off of. Why not get a job and have a paycheck?
I guess that would be too hard for a lazy ass.
- Disappointed Daughter, Santa Clara
From The Beat: The most important thing is that it seems like you are
not letting the problems with your father get you too down. You can
recognize that he has his own problems and you are living your own life.
But remember, forgiving people sets us free.
So MuGi) Disappointment
Well there is so much disappointments out there in the
Don't let it get to you, just write about it to The Beat
You can freestyle or let your soul bleed.
Role it up in one song like you used to roll weed
But you don't need to smoke weed 'cause you lose your
It might get you locked down in county jail
So be smart, think about it, think before you act
Because it only takes one second and you can end up on
And I ain't talkin' about bein' knocked down
It can be even worse, you can lose your life
End up in a hearse, so don't let your disappointments
Get to you keep yo' head up and if you
Out there on the block ...keep yo' bread up.
-Lil' T the Freestyle King, Alameda
From The Beat: You are living up to the name of Freestyle King! Our
next question to you is how can you "keep yo' bread up" in a legit way,
so you don't have to end up suffering the way people do out there when
they face... disappointment?
The Disappointment Problem
Disappointment isn't the easiest problem to deal with.
How I deal with disappointment is probably different than
how others deal with it. I'm used to it.
I've been disappointed ever since I can remember,
literally all my years growing up. How I deal with it now is I
work out to let all the pain out. When I run into a situation
that doesn't go my way I address my feelings by thinking
of something positive that will change my feelings and
turn them around. How I react to disappointment is I
exclude myself to be by myself. Then I think... try to think
Do I get angry? Sometimes, it depends on the reason
why I'm disappointed. How I handle my anger is I'll work
it out or talk it out with someone I trust enough to open
A time I was disappointed is when my whole life
growing up, off and on, my mom was never capable to
raise me. She was always very unstable which kills me
inside 'till this day.
My thoughts on disappointment to everyone else
who encounters this feeling: to not let it too deep under
your skin, if you know what I mean. Try to look at the
things you have that don't disappoint you or do what I do
and just work out all the pain. One more thing though:
always keep your head up through thickness and thin.
Remember life is like a roUercoaster, it has its ups and
downs. Just know when you're down, pray to God to give
you strength to bring you back up if needed.
All right. Beat, about that time to cut it short. Stay
-Floyd Troubles, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We appreciate the wise words on this topic. We can
tell you've spent some time thinicing about disappointment. It is very
encouraging that you have found a way to channel your negative
feelings through exercise and positive thinicing. This shows great
maturity and we hope you continue to follow your own advice.
Let It Rino
Freedom, let it ring
From the highs of the mountains
Shall we all sing
We might be chained down with whelps on our backs
But with the courage of our hearts
We shall change all that.
"Yeah Master, yeah Master" is what our ancestors went
But now there is a new generation
And freedom is what was given to you.
Yeah, though there is fear in our hearts for one another
Remember that once upon a time Martin Luther King
Had a dream
That no matter your color.
That we would love, honor, forgive each other.
Freedom, let it ring
From the highs of the mountains, shall we all sing.
But let us all remember that yesterday is gone.
And today is a new day where voices are found.
Let us honor our mothers and fathers
. . . For I believe that a child is not a child without a home
Freedom, let it ring
From the highs of the mountains.
Shall we all just one day sing.
From The Beat: "A child is not a child without a home..." this line is so
true. Did you feel like you had a home? And a childhood? Now that you
are moving forward into womanhood, how will you personally break
free of the mental chains that could hold you back?
Have you ever felt the feeling of disappointment?
When someone tells you one thing and does another?
Well I have...
On the 26th I had court and the day before, my PO told
for sure I was getting out on drug court.
But then when I went in front of the judge,
they told me that I'm going to go out of town for three
I was so mad but there was nothing I could do but cry.
As I continued to cry,
I knew I was going and all
I could do was just deal with it and do my time.
So now as I'm waiting to go, I can't stop thinking of why
I did this shhh to disappointment myself.
From the age of 14 to 17, I was running away from home.
I always blamed it on my mom.
Now that I'm almost 18, I can see that it was all just me.
-Gloria, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: Although it^ very hard to be sent away from home, it's
not the end of your world. Being away will hopefully keep you out of
trouble and out of the system. Not everyone has the chance to go to a
new place to experience support and treatment. It's all in the way you
look at it. If you complain about it, you'll do poorly. If you see the
good it will do you, you will succeed. We hope you make the best of
tiow I handle mif anger is I'll
work It out or talk It ont
with someone I trust enough
to open up to.
Disappointment In My Dad
The most disappointed I felt was getting stood up by my
dad. My dad was in jail for most of my life so when he got
out he always used to say "I'm going to pick you up this
weekend." I would have my bags packed waiting on the
porch. As I waited, every 10 minutes he would call and
say he was on his way.
Unfortunately most of the time he never came. But
the only time I seen him was when I was in trouble and
he would try to play father of the year and come yelling at
me. After a while when he called and said he was coming
I wouldn't even get ready knowing to myself he wasn't
Today, me and my dad are more like friends then
anything else. We cuss around each other, I smoked weed
in the living with him around. But in some ways we are
the same: he's on parole and I am on probation; he did
time, I did time. I am not blaming him for me being in the
hall, but if he was a parent not a friend I wouldn't be in
From The Beat: A lot of us here at The Beat have also felt the
disappointment you spoke of so we know how that is. You just have to
see things for what they are and not what they seem to be and do your
best to march down the path you need to be on for your future success...
with or without your pops around. We can walk baclcwards looking at
the past and keep tripping over things we can't change and continue
stumbling and falling, or we can turn around and focus our attention on
the present and make the future what we want it to be. Thank you for
stepping up and sharing your thoughts on this topic.
111 Cai't Rii Firiiir
What's up with The Beat? This Drew. Fm up in this max
thang tryin' to do it moving to Wyoming. I don't know
anything about Wyoming, so I am about to see what they
are talking about.
At first I was gone run once I got out. I'm hearing that
it's a new program and its co-ed, so I'm about to be there
with some females so its probably gonna be coo'. I got to
do nine months to a year and that ain't long at all. It's just
the fact I don't feel like doing it.
If this program accepts me, I'm gone be wit' some
people I mess with, so me and my ninjas just gone knock
this time out. I just got to say that you can't ran forever.
Trust me. I tried more than once. Just knock your little
time and get back to your folks.
-Drew, San Francisco
From The Beat: We hope you find other things besides females that
you didn't expect to find, but which broaden your experience and
icnowiedge. Deciding not to run is a sign of moving out of childhood
and into responsible adulthood. Why not write to us when you get into
the program for a while and tell u% about it — what's good and what
could be made better. We wish you luck and success.
Cleaning up the county make you feel like a slave, but
then again it shows you responsibility. I believe that
not cleaning for moms ain't cool because you may get
something in return from her. But from the county you
get nothing, and I know that whatever moms get you, it's
better than what the county gets you.
I'm the type of person that'll learn the least I can do is
to clean for moms, make her happy.
-Young G, San Francisco
From The Beat: We agree that cleaning for the county (and for moms)
can teach you responsibility. We also like that you see that what you get
by doing for your mom is far more than what you get by doing for the
county. Now; we hope you gain enough responsibility to find a way to
stop doing the things that lead you here, so that you can give your mom
the thing she wants the most — you, at home with her!
Llvlno Tlie Dnulile Life
Yes, I live the double life and it can be very hard at times.
Doing things my mom want me to do, and then doing what
I feel I have to do to be happy. My mom wants me to go to
school, which I'm currently not doin' because I'm having
a need for money more than school.
I'm only 17 years old, and school always seemed hard
for me to complete. Plus, (it's hard) with me having the
urge of wanting to be a dancer, model, actor, and rapper.
At times I feel I could make it big before I can complete
I stay out all day doing work for the family and people.
Just any type of work for some money. I used to steal, but
sitting in juvenile hall, I seen that wasn't my route. I'm
still 17. I'll be 18 in three months. So now I'm finna take
a acting class. That's going to help me make it to the big
Still work for the family, for money. I'm going to get
enrolled in adult school. But that's all for now.
-Lil' Nite, San Francisco
From The Beat: We appreciate the goals you've set for yourself, and we
hope you can achieve them. (We didn't know you could study acting
in adult school, though.) But here^ the thing. The reason you want to
finish school is that it gives you a foundation to pursue everything else
you want in life, it gives you the key to a future that doesn't require
you to steal to get money enough to live. You can study acting/dancing/
modeling and still go to school, if you find yourself unable to make it
sk% skn actor (and we're not predicting that, just saying "if"), and you
haven't gone to school, you have nothing to fall back on. We want to
encourage you to go after your dream, but not at the expense of your
Serving Tiie Devil
Evil is my mind, thoughts are sick.
The way I think is 6 6 6
Ain't no Jesus Christ in the mix
I hope to be the devil's number one pick
For him to make me his grim reaper
But I don't play fair, I'ma stay low creeper
I may not catch you in your sleep
But I still will lift you off your feet.
You're waiting for that Jesus you expect to see
In the hottest, darkest place you'll ever be
With laughs of my father and me
This is your after-life for eternity
I love how he fuels you up with hate
But all this is is just his bait
For you to mess up and sin
He enters your mind in and out, out and in
Right now I'm locked within these walls
In this so-called juvenile hall
I'm away from the well-known streets
Where the devil makes me play for keeps
I play on his flaming play ground
Where no lil' good boys are found
I left your so-called god my name
And wrote I'll never look at him with shame
If he wants we'll go to war
But he ain't down 'cause we got more
When the day comes let us loose out hell's door
I'ma be the first to show that I'm loyal to the devil
Take any one out that not an evil rebel
Mess with me I wish you would
I know your god never could
Well see you when you're next so see you later
Oh yeah, forget all you haters
From The Beat: We had to taice out some of this poem because we don't
promote shooting or iciiiing or threatening to shoot or iciii. But you
have such siciiis that the power of your angry words elevates this to a
co-pow. In fact, we will go so far sk% to say that skn^one who can write sk%
well and powerfully sk% you do, doesn't have to serve the dark side... You
should know that the idea of making a pact with the devil is a very, very
old one in human art and literature. (Look up "Faust" and see how many
different writers have played with this theme.) But it might be worth
remembering, sk% you play, that the devil is the devil, and not you. Which
means, when you play with the devil, be prepared to be betrayed and
pay the price. (What you're paying right now is pennies compared to
what you might have to pay in the future...) For all your pride in being
you are just a human being, sk% frail and impotent sk% all the rest
So, be careful what you wish for. You may get it.
A Time Of Disappointment
A time of disappointment is when I got in here, first time
being locked up. I disappointed my whole family. During
my first visit I remember my mom crying a river non-stop.
Even when I called her she was crying. During my visit
she told me, "You disappointed me."
My heart felt like it was broken, like I had been in a
relationship and I was dumped. My heart felt like it was
ripped out of my chest and I was disowned from my family.
It was like dis-honored. I almost cried when she told me
this. I felt really bad and I had nothing to say to her. I
didn't get angry. I was sad, but I knew it was my fault. I
want to be released and show everyone that I can change.
I will not let them down.
-Vincent, Santa Clara
From The Beat: There is no worse feeling that letting your mother
down by not living up to her expectations for you. You are in a life-long
relationship with your mom, but you haven't been dumped. A mother
will never dump the son she loves, any more than the son will ever
dump the mother that he loves. You will be released, so you will be able
to prove to her — and to yourself — that you are the boy she wants you
to be, and the man you are growing to be.
Juvy is a personal experience,
from the courtrooms to the closed doors, to the
It depends upon yo' case or yo' attorney and your
probation officer, should I say.
They say you in here for a while,
then weeks and months, it's what come by.
The days and nights you sit inside of here, it makes you
One phone call ciin't enough and it's the number they select.
They call us delinquents and don't even know the facts.
Juvy was my second home, but I changed that around.
Now I'm right back where I started. Damn, ain't that a
-Brianna, San Francisco
From The Beat: It is disappointing for you to spend so much time iociced
up, Brianna, but that doesn't mean you're bade where you started. That's
up to the "way you thinic, not up to where you are. If your thinicing
changes, then your situation will follow. You are in control of your
mind and attitude, not the cops, your attorney, PO or judge. If you've
fallen, pick yourself up and start walicing again. By the way, we'd love
you to tell u% the "facts" you %9i^ they don't know when they call you
Lite letore Cell Phines
What's up with The Beat. It's yo' boy Mike writing. Life
before cell phones is the topic I'ma write about.
Life before cell phones was phony as hell. Ninjas had
to sit in the house waiting for females, homies or their
family to call. Sitting in the house waiting on a phone call
is a waste of time. You can be out there doing something
better with your life rather then sitting up waiting for a
phone call. That's why it's smooth that cell phones came
out 'cause you can be out on the block and get a phone
Cell phones can become a problem, though. People
get set up by cell phones. That's why you have to be aware
of your surroundings. That's all I gotta say for this week.
We all we got.
-Mike, San Francisco
From The Beat: (You can be Mike, or BB, but you can't u%e the Beat
name you've chosen...) So tell u%, what are some of those "better things"
you could be doing rather than sitting at home waiting for a call. Is it
possible if you spent more time at home (waiting for calls or not) and
less time on the block, you might also be spending less time under
Disappointed In Myself
I'm not anxious to clean another ninja dirty-ass clothes,
feel me, but I don't have a choice. If I'm on crew, I gotta
do my job or get 2.5, ya dig. Now I can't say I don't like
being on crew 'cause a ninja dig being out that room, feel
me. When staff tell me I'm on crew and to come do my job,
I jump like a house ninja ,"Yes sir, boss. We's gone wash
the dishes real good boss."
But when I was on the outs, I used to be hot sometimes
when I had to do the dishes or take out the garbage. I
did it, but I was hot about it when I shouldn't have been
'cause while I'm in here, I jump at attention when I
gotta do something with no problem. And that's why I'm
disappointed in myself.
-Fed-Up Gloss, San Francisco
From The Beat: We appreciate your honesty, and the fact that you've let
this experience open your cye% to see what you owe to the people that
love you. Of course it's nice to get that special treatment for being part
of the crew in here, but what you say about jumping up "like a house
ninja" isn't that far from the truth. You are a kind of slave inside this
place, and that means you better do what "boss" tells you to do. On the
outs, it^ just you and those you love, so doing for them should come
straight from your heart. From what you've written, we think it will
from now on.
Kiss Of DeatI)
I seen death before I was able to talk
Witness bloodshed before I could walk
Was told that I was going to be in the pen
Or end up dead in hell and pay for my sins
Got sent down but then was rejected.
I feel no remorse 'cause my feelings are dissected
Diablo tryin' to think what he can do to me
But I speak the demonic language fluently
Cold brown eyes, no love, only hate and anger inside
In heaven I wasn't worthy, so angels I despise
Knocked Satan off now I own the throne
Spitting lava outta my mouth like a fountain, homes
No la vida loca, this called my life of hell
Pastor Juan held the service and at noon the church bell rung
Tears of blood, heart cold as ice
Only if your soul will sin then you you'll get an invite
Into my temple of doom and receive the kiss of death
Couldn't sell my soul but the devil steady talkin' in my ear
He talked too much so I ended throwing him off the tier
No tears since '95, but that's old news
Nightmares uncontrollable always end in death and my
mama singin' sad tunes
No more faith in god 'cause I only see one set of footprints
I recognize them as mine so now know why I sin
Forget fate, me and the lord ain't straight
Though I love like my mother. Can't help but to think hate
Think straight with a head, a hood full of screws missin'
No bars, no guards, just a new prison
Momma was never on meth, crack or herion
But people wonder why I got so much hate in my veins then
I tell you why, 'cause I raised myself
Can't trust nobody and never asked for help
I'm one of the few who will likely end up dead
'Cause the life I live will never end
Gangsta Shadow also known as a baby boy demon
'Cause when ever I seen something homicidal or suicidal I
was always cheesin'
It's been four years since I lost my first child off this earth
But my other two kids, I love them until I'm laid in the dirt
Selena and Angel, daddy loves and misses you
Be good for abuelita while she takes care of you
People say, "Why bang and got two kids?"
That's all I know so I get it how I live
I love them with all my heart and I won't stop till I get a
bullet to the chest
Until the grim reaper comes and gives me the kiss of death
From The Beat: Such poetic skills must be rewarded/Which is why that
co-pow we've recorded/But the words you write bring tears to our eyes/
As we know that Selena, and Angel and your Abuelita cries/Wishing
you'd put them ahead of what you describe sk% "all you know"/So that
they aren't lost too, but have a chance to grow/You %x^ your heart is
cold and filled only with hate/But we can't believe those words when
we read of the love you state/No, you have not knocked ^xtsktt off his
throne/You've only left two loving children to grow up without a daddy,
living alone/We don't want to be accused of hatin'/But if you think this
is hell, you should see what they got waitin'/
My Juvy Life
This juvy life ain't shhh. It's not that hard. But I want to
stop coming back and I am. My mom is tired of coming to
visit me and she is sad. When I see her, she's in tears and
I don't like that. But to stop that I have to stop to come
"Much love and respect. You will never hear from me
again, because I am not coming back after I leave. Peace.
-Sneaky, San Francisco
From The Beat: We always like to read that this is the last time you'll
be locked up. If not seeing your mom cry is important, you'll keep that
promise. Being here may not be hard, but each time you come, you make
it more likely that the next stop will not be so easy. Now's the time to
do what you say you're going to do.
I Breathe off The Weed
Say, mane, the weed help me breathe when I can't
Fight off the demons that approach me while I dwell in a
With the air stale, damn I miss the beautiful smell...
I mean, the weed help me breathe, it's just somethin' I
I never be in denial... shhh I know I'm a fiend...
It's no excuse for usin' it, it's just the pleasure it
I never stop 'cause I don't want to, I ain't got no reason
It calm my nerves when I'm hurtin', you know,
Ninja, the weed help me breathe, slow my whole life
If you want me to stop, you might as well try to pull a
When I'm breathin' off the smoke, I let it flow through
My Ps and Qs be on alert, you know I stay on my toes...
Watchin' everything that's movin', listen to ninjas
workin' they vocals
You ain't gotta tell me to stay on my shhh, ninja, I do it
'cause I'm s'posed to...
The weed help me be coo', especially if I don't know
If I ain't ova and you a snitch, I might try to expose
I breathe off the weed, so when you see me, I'm
As, me to quit, that's like askin' me to stop breathin'!
-P. Crooks, San Francisco
From The Beat: We have to give you props for being such a fine poet/
Your words are iiice buds from your mind, and you grow it/But still we
post warnings, and not just for your health/But also the money it costs,
that which affects your wealth/if your addiction forces you to commit
other crimes/You'll be ivriting poems behind ivalls, time after time/ Your
self-medication may be precious to you/But freedom's more precious, and
you know that to be true!
Well, what's up Beat? Anyways, I'm still locked up. I've
been here in juvenile hall three months now.
But anyways, what make me disappointed is I got
locked up my first time and I'm disappointed to make
my mother cry. But I still love my mother mo matter
what happened. She will always be in my mind and heart
But another thing that makes me disappointed is I
have waited patiently and finished all my programs. But
one thing that don't make me disappointed is staying
with my family.
But yeah, anyways I'm going to a group home, but I'm
not trippin'. It's cool. I just gotta finish the program, go
to school, get a job, and get diploma because I just want
my life to be better and stay with my family again when I
finish my programs. I miss my family a lot and love them
forever. I will never lose love with my family, forever. I
always love my family till the everlasting life.
But anyways, that's all I got to say. Beat. Hopefully
next time I'll see you later! Stay up! Much respect and
-Pablo, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We can feel hoiw much you love and miss your family, and
we know they are feeling the pain of being without you. But you have a
good plan for putting yourself back together with those that you love,
and that plan is to go back to school and get your education. It is the
key to the better life you want for yourself. Yes, it is a disappointment
to lose your freedom, but it is more disappointing if you do it more than
once. Learn from this mistake, and never make it again!
M]l Lil' Mamma Bear
My lil' mamma is soft and cuddly, but is always ready fo'
whateva. She speaks her mind, but barely tells me how
she feels. Me and her have a lot in common, but even
when she disagrees with me, she don't hold back. And at
the same time, when she's mad, she is still the baddest
She teaches me and I teach her. Sometimes I can't
stand her, but a ninja can't let go. We've been through a
lot together and apart. We told each otha we'll be together
'til the block stuff in the middle of the bone. She's
committed to me as I'm committed to her. My feelings for
her go deeper than the title she holds.
Sometimes I don't think she cares, and vice versa, but
love doesn't always go in your favor. We argue a lot, but it
always end in, "I love you."
But what I really like is that she trusts me. I told her
she can tell me anything, and she did. But me and her are
the only people alive that know I once told her trust her
heart because your head is about living and your heart is
about being alive. Your heart can never betray you, and if
it led you to look for love where there was none, then it's
not done leading you.
The only thing I regret about her is some of the stuff
that comes out her mouth. But if I woulda listened to her,
I wouldn't be locked up. I call her my Lil' Mamma Bear
because when I need a female to turn to, she will always
be there. I will do anything for her.
I remember one time one of her friends called me
'cause she got into it with a ninja 'cause she didn't wanna
talk to him. I didn't have no ride or nothin', so I got a
bottle of Bacardi, some 'dro, and my lil' homie Nina, and
got on the bus and went lookin' for her at 3:00 o'clock.
That's how close we are, an she'll do the same.
She don't even drink or smoke. We knew each otha
since like 2000 or 2001, but I knew her longer then some
of my dunnys. Anotha thing that bothers me is her cousins
claim a set that don't like me, and that hard for me an her.
But we discussed that topic already and it seem like every
time I read one of these Teri Woods' book, it remind me of
somethin' we been through. If you read "Deadly Reigns,"
she's Angela as far as the way she acts, 'cause she don't
take any of my shhh. But I'm out.
-Young Dunny, San Francisco
From The Beat: What we iiice most about this description of your
relationship is that is not the u%usk\, "She's everything I need. She
completes me. She% perfect." No, instead you go into some of the
difficulties that every true relationship encounters. It's hard enough
living with ourselves; it's doubly hard to accommodate another person,
so it's very important to know that it requires constant effort, sometimes
giving in, sometimes not, but always loving. Good for you to be mature
enough for a mature relationship. Now, if you could only find a way to
stay out of places Iiice this, you could give that relationship a chance to
grow and mature.
Once again a disappointment.
Sitting in a cell.
Waiting for some mail.
It seems everyday is a disappointment now days.
Why wake up to face disappointment?
-Mona, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Good question. So, start making some changes. Start
expecting more of yourself. Set some goals, realistic goals. Each day,
make a bit of progress toward achieving your goals. Even in juvy
you can move closer to them. Read yourself silly. Fill yourself with
knowledge. Spend today wisely and waking up will be a pleasure, not
Doin' It For Moms
What's poppin' with The Beat, dawg? Yeah, y'all know
it's that one and only Iggs the kid. Better known as Yesay,
you heard me. This would be my first time really writing
about one of the topics fo' real, 'cause this one really
caught my attention, dawg.
Ninjas in here would be glad to clean up this whole
stinkin' building real quick, but when moms tell us to
take out the garbage or wash some dishes, we got 700
reasons on why we don't want to feel like doin" shhh, but
hop up quick is shhh when they call you for crew.
The reason for that though is that we be tryna get
out that box and get fat plug on the food or on the phone.
Ninjas know how it is, dawg.
But say round, when a ninja get out, brah, I'ma wash
some dishes brah. Just for moms, straight up dawg. I'm
gone though Beat. In a minute, round.
-Young Iggs, San Francisco
From The Beat: You make it very clear why you'd agree to be on the
clean-up crew, because you get benefits for doing it. Are there benefits
for doing the same at home (not counting the benefits to your mom?).
What do you think you will get out of washing some dishes and helping
your mom at home, once you get out of here?
Too many fallen casualties and pain from insanity
Drop dead look, another tragedy
Pano was tied around his bleep and he dissected his
vida once mo'
Flashback of the last tracks as he threw up his guts on the flo'
Mira, he got the maliaz
And can you see him shakin' like he's got a seizure
Talkin' homicidal but he can't walk without out holdin'
on to the walls
Suicidal tendencies, naw, he just wants to kill 'em all
By the calculations of his math, was messed up, he
Six days cind five nights was how long the vato stayed high
Not even 15 years young, too far from sprung
I rather give up a lung smokin' purple than have it
controlling my tongue
Jumped into the ranfla, skidded to the barrio
Spot some rucas from the other side, but I didn't talk to
Mi vida loca cuetes unleashing bailas
And to me doin' trempo es nada.
Chale carna,l don't you got two kids
Simon, homie, but I can't stop doing my bid
I'm pinta-bound and a soldado por mi estado
The huda tryin' to wash me along with the chotas and
I get so much love from the valley to the bay
What can I say except te amo golden state
From the west to the este, homies puttin' down.
And all my homies know what the motto is, and we do it
until we in the ground
Since a young vato, I've known to be loco
Now 17 years old, a down-ass soldado
Out all day so call me concrete
A cholo until I'm put in eternal sleep
-Gangsta Shadow, San Francisco
From The Beat: If you were jumped in by older boys with a plan/You
can jump out by thinking for yourself, like a man/If the cops and narcs
are tryin' to wash you, and take you from your daughters/It's you that's
giving them all they need, the dirty soap and water/You say doin' time
for you is nada/But what is it those who call you "Fatha"?/We're not
impressed by the job of soldiers, and that's a fact/Whether here on these
mean streets or in the streets of lra(|/The soldier's job is take orders and
die by the sword/While those handing out the orders smile and claim
their reward/We wish you'd see things sk% they could be, before you blow
it/Because this world is desperate for what you are, a damn fine poet!
Well let's see what a dunny like me gone write about
today. Oh yeah, check this out, tell yo' roommate I said
talking dead, real talk. I'm Anna tell y'all 'bout my young
dunnies just 'cause I love my ninjas. Me and my dunnies
been through hell and back, but my dunnies, we there fo'
each otha and for ourselves.
But let me tell y'all 'bout this series of events and how
some ninjas really ain't yo' real ninjas. Look, me anotha
dunny and another ninja was on the bus, right. So it's
this lil' ninja on the bus, but he claim what he claim,
right. So where I'm from and where he from don't really
get along, so since he young, we just playin' with him
talking shhh to him.
So we Anna get off, and it's like other people from
where the lil' dude from, so we exchange our lil' words
or whateva. But we wasn't gone get off an get jumped, so
we get off an' we see some of the homies drivin' by. So
we instantly flag him down, tell him our plans and I get
my lil' bone crusher CD out the trunk, but wasn't even
trippin' off them ninjas.
So we go to the lil' bank, but the police drove by, so I'm
thinking like if I would'a did something, most definitely I
woulda got caught by the police or worse. So the like two
days later, we by Super Save and see two of the dudes that
was talking whateva they was talking 'bout, an' one of
they lil' females. But now it's two dunnies and some mutt
we be hangin' with, an' I say that 'cause if we woulda got
into it, he woulda got ghost, and he older than me an my
But I guess the dudes we was beefin' with didn't like
how we came back down there, so now he just wanna
try to help his lil' homie earn some stripes so he can get
known 'cause he was new to the situation. And the dude
that was doin' all the talking, we been getting into it for
years, an' he like three years older than me. He just got
out not too long ago, so he like my young homie, would
go ones with anyone of you ninjas right now.
So my side like it's whateva. But I looked at him
like he don't really wanna fight, he just don't wanna be
a sucka. But him thinking that that was his homie, he
didn't even do nothing. But he wanted to be known so
bad he got killed on the street he wanted to be from, and I
ain't even tryin' to be funny 'bout this. But that's messed
up, 'cause he didn't even know who he was tryin' to beef
with, just wanted to fit in.
I wrote this 'cause I'm tryin' to make yo'self known
usually ends up the same way. I didn't hand pick and
choose where I'm from, it just happened. I'm still alive
'cause I wasn't rushin' fo' my name to ring bells. I rather
get whispered about so everybody stop recruiting all
these new faces 'cause it ain't meant for everybody.
It really ain't meant for nobody, it's just that some
adapt to stuff. RIP CJ, an' he ain't even the homie.
-Young Dunny, San Francisco
From The Beat: It^ really that last sentence in this long piece that
elevates it to a CO-POW. Living and dying the way so many young
people do, like you said, is not meant for anybody. It's a deadly game
with no winners, only losers. One side takes out a human being or two,
the other side retaliates, and on and on it goes. Each individual could,
but the luck of birth and family situation, be on the other side just sk%
easily. It's sk% in^stne as any war anywhere. You've written a long piece,
and yet we still can't quite understand what went down that someone
had to die over. How many weeping mothers whose lives will never
the same will it take before enough is enough?
.Jt alK't meaftt for everifhodif.,. It
tea I I If alH 't meant for mMtf. . .
The Lie, Living A Double Life
I just want to talk about how I live a double life. Let me see
- where do I start?
All right - ever since I grew up I have lived a double life
because when I was growing up I always wanted to be in a
gang. I thought if I did get put on to be in a gang that I would
earn respect, trust, power, weapons, drugs, girls, money and
many other things.
So one day I got locked up and I met two gang members
I used to look up to and I asked them what do I have to do to
be a part of your hood? They told me that I had to put in work
on a few people, so I did. I beat the hell out of my roommate.
Then they said it was ok to be part of the hood and I said
So on Saturday, during searches, they came up in my
room and asked me: are you ready? And I said ok, so they
beat the shhh out of me. So then I was in. But to make a long
story short, I lied to my family and told them I don't bang
When I was at home I was a good kid, but on the streets
I was a gang member, and it messed up my life. Well, I got to
-Rodney, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Rodney, don't VLse that word - "peace", unless you mean
it. There's no peace in the gang. Just to be in it you have to get the crap
icnociced out of you. You admit it's messed up your life. You can bet it's
messed up the lives of the others in the gang, too. Do you know what
kind of life you want? Do you want a messed up life, if not - step back.
Think deeply about what you do want. There are lots of people who can
help you get where you want to go, peacefully.
From Madness to Success
It's all in the mind
Think about what you gon' do
You either be successful
Or keep bangin' with that
I know it's hard
But your mind
Got to be strong,
Order to stay on top
We just young black
Men, who need some
So instead of gettin'
Mad at each other,
Give a ninja a hug.
Just think about
When you in yo'
Cell at night,
And you think about
How much time you
Got and say damn
I wanna change my
Well guess what,
It's only right
-Lil' Dee, Alameda
From The Beat: We hope you
follow your very good advice in
this piece - and next time you
have a chance to do right (by
your block, by your family, by
yourself), take it!
The Disappointment Blues
What is disappointment to you?
Disappointment to me is when you go to a closed store.
Disappointment is when your mom cries in court.
Disappointment to me is putting myself in this position.
Disappointment is when someone else controls your life.
Disappointment is when you only bathe for five minutes.
Disappointment is when you can't get up and go to the icebox
when you want.
Disappointment is when you can't see your family.
Disappointment is when you wear county sneakers.
Disappointment is when you have to call your family collect.
Disappointment is when you get out and can't get a job.
What is disappointment to you?
From The Beat: Disappointment to u% is when we see intelligent young
people like yourself keep coming back into juvenile hall wasting your
life, instead of putting your minds to good use at school and doing
other productive things lAfith your lives!
Tte "B" Word
You say a conversation goes away? I disagree. The
oldest way of keeping knowledge and tradition is by word
of mouth, telling stories and fables to teach morals and
tradition. A conversation is a fluctuating script and acting
was one of the earliest forms of art.
Since arriving here I've heard nothing but "b's and
"h's" The children always brag about how many "b's"
they "got, when they ask how many I have my response is
I wouldn't ever want a girl with low enough self-
esteem to allow me to refer to her as a "B". I have the
companionship of a beautiful young woman. That's all I
From The Beat: Both your points are well taken, especially that last
one about the young women and girls and the names they get called,
or allow themselves to be called. Why and how do you think that even
happens to begin with?
Well my life started by being cool, but until the age of 8
when my mom passed away. I was going through it and it
still goes through my mind when people talk about their
In 6th grade, I met my friend that now he's my
best friend. We were both skaters until one day we got
introduced to the gang. Then, I started wearing gang
clothes. When I was wearing all the gang clothes, I started
chilling with older homeboys that showed me a lot of
respect. When I was chilling with them, I got into their
'hood at the a younger age. Well now I'm still
in the gang and how they say once you're in there's no
ways out. I started going against my rivals. When I got
caught by the police, I ended up in juvenile hall.
Pee-Wee, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We are sorry for your loss. We understand how hard it
must have been for you to grow up without the warmth of a mother.
But, now you have to stop what you are doing and think about your
life for a minute. This is not the life you deserve. Think about it! There
are many who have gone through hard ones and have turned their lives
around. They are now living a normal and better life. You can be another
one. Gangs won't take you anywhere and you'll find out sooner or later.
Might sk% well before than late. There is skWtsk^s a way out! Aliways!
It happens a lot.
It's something that happens so often
that most people expect it more than they expect what
they want. You walk in class expecting easy work.
You go home expecting no chores. Disappointment.
You see a girl you like, and ask her out. Disappointment.
You do a crime and think you get away. Disappointment.
You wish you could live forever. Disappointment.
The list can go on forever because it's so common,
but if you take all these disappointments and learn from
it would get harder to get disappointed.
Not saying it still won't happen, because it will.
But take it as a lesson. I've been disappointed too many
but if you're strong, you can keep your head up.
So to all you Beat readers,
learn from your disappointments and keep your head up.
Till I write again.
-Big Keno, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Well said BK. Life is a mix. And disappointments part of
it. It's how we handle it that counts. And we can learn to minimize the
disappointments by learning to make wiser choices.
I really don't deal with disappointment. I get angry more
than disappointed. What really makes me mad is when
people tell me that they are going to do something, but do
something else. I hate that. That is really irritating.
But anger is a different. The way I deal with anger is
screaming in my pillow, throwing things, and acting like
My father disappoints me a lot. Ever since I was a baby,
he's been a disappointment, so I don't even consider him
being a father or a daddy. He is basically just a sperm
donor. He just contributed to my existence. That is the
biggest disappointment ever. But, yeah, I hate being
-Knhwj, San Francisco
From The Beat: You definitely have good reasons to feel disappointed in
the man who wants to call himself your father but who doesn't meet stny
of the definitions of "father" other than his contribution to your genetic
make-up. (Unfortunately, this is far too common ivith far too many men.)
But we're most interested in that first reason for disappointment, with
those who say they're going to do something but don't do it. We wonder,
have you ever said you weren't going to come to juvenile hall? Or you
wferen't going to get caught by the police? Or you were going to make
changes that you didn't follow through on? in other words, are you ever
disappointed in yourself?
Disappnlnted In Myseif
r ma kick y'all a little disappointment story. It was
about two months ago when I was attending Tennyson
High School. I knew most of the girls and dudes there, so
about one month into school I start doing the most. My
patnas was influencing me hella much. Basically I was
scrapin' with the wrong crowd.
I'd just got out from doing 19 months and I was
trying to beat probation, ya dig? But in my environment
it's always that violent boy vibe. That's what gets me in
But anyways, one day I was walking to lunch and I
asked this goni lala that I knew since middle school to
buy me a lunch. Then she started cursing me out. I was
going along with it, but after about five minutes I started
to realize she was serious. After I noticed she was taking
it too far I told her like this: I was just playin' sis. I got a
baf in my pocket. But she kept calling out my name and
disrespecting me to the flfth.. So I entered her face. We
were both arguing for like 10 minutes. That when I said -
look ma, if you call out my name one more time I'm 'bout
to slap the dog shhh out of you. And she kept up with
it, trying to make me look dumb in front of everybody at
lunch. Then she called me the b word. After that it was a
wrap. I gave her a right hook to the face, then a left to the
Although I was angry at the time, now that I'm locked
up, I really want to apologize to that girl. I should never
have put my hands on a female, because if it wasn't for a
female, I would never have been here.
So, to all the females in the world - I apologize for
disrespecting you in any way, shape, or form. Y'all the
most beautiful creation God made.
I'm most disappointed in myself for letting her get to
me. I know I'm bigger than that, plus I was on my a-game.
Now I'm gonna know where my ego will put me next
To all, keep it solid! Good night Beat readers.
-Phatty, Santa Clara
From The Beat: That was a hard lesson, P. We hope the young woman
you assaulted is OK. And we hope you'll learn to just walk away from
gnarly situations like that. Walking away from trouble is often more
courageous than jumping into it. Work on controlling yourself young
Mis Consejns Hacia Ti
No le tengo envidia a las demas personas. En la otra
parte, me conformo con lo que Dios me ha dado. Les doy
un consejo, conformensen con lo que Dios les ha a dado
y no scan inconforme.
En mi vida, a mi me hubiera gustado escuchar los
consejos de las personas mayores. Ahora les dare unos
consejos: no se metan a los vicios de las drogas. Alejensen
lo mas que puedan de esos vicios.
Otro consejo es que busquen a Dios. El si te dara lo bueno
y lo mejor. El tiene cosas grandes para ti. El ama. El tiene
planes para ti. El te dara vida eterna.
Obedece a tus padres, respetalos, hazle caso, has el
bien y no mires a quien. Hazlo sin recibir nada a cambio
porque hoy tii haces un favor mafiana te pueden hacer
uno a ti. Escoje el camino del bien para que en el dia de
mafiana, puedas ser alguien en la vida. Suerte!
From The Beat: Que lindo consejos! ^Quien o que te inspiro a dar estos
consejos? Esperamos que tal como ellos tu tambiena aprendas sobre
esos mismos consejos. No te desvies del camino bueno en que sknAskS.
Vas por buen camino, te deseamos lo mejor tambien.
My Advices Tn Ynu
I don't envy other people. On the other hand, I am satisfied
with what God gave me. I'm going to give you an advice,
be pleased with what God has given you and don't be
In my life, I would have liked to listen to the advice
of other older people. Now, I'm going to give you another
advice: don't mess with drugs. Get as far away as you can
from those bad habits.
Another advice would be to look for God. He will give
you what's good and the best. He has big things planned
for you. He will give you eternal life.
Obey your parents, listen to them, do what's right
and don't look back to others. Do it without expecting to
receive something back because if today you do a favor,
tomorrow they might do you one. Choose the right road,
so the day of tomorrow you can become someone in life.
-Francisco, San Francisco
From The Beat: Those are good and wise advices. Who or what inspired
you to give these advices out? We hope you to learn from those advices
as well. Don't misguide yourself from the good road you are heading.
You're on the right road. We wish you the best. And we also hope
someone get your point.
Wiiy Did I Cause My Mnm so Mucli Pain?
My dad is like a stranger 'cause the only person
whoever took care of me was my mom. My dad would
walk in and out of my life like a stranger.
He didn't do anything to support me, but my mom did so
much for me.
I caused her too much pain by getting locked up, getting
high and drunk, doing crimes, involving myself in gangs.
Now I regret what I did 'cause now I'm in juvi and I have
to think about how much pain I caused her.
This goes out to my mom.
I want her to know that I love her and no one could ever
-Lil' Moose, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Throughout your piece, we can imagine how hard your
mother has done to raise you without any support. We think it's time for
you to start giving back to her some of the effort she has done for you.
You know what you can do to pay all she has done for you. Touch your
heart and you'll know. Good luck! We're proud of your mom like you are.
Now make her proud of you.
She Got The Kid Wide Open
Baby we just hung up, talked about so much, but it was
only fifteen/thirty minutes just hearin' yo' voice,
keeps me from giving out beatin's
When lights say eyes out, me and you together is what I see
Some say you got me wrapped but in reality I'm not sure
but I do know
She got The Kid wide open
People never wanted us together.
But look at us four and a half months later
And they still hatin'
Fm not worried 'bout none of it, I know how you feel.
And you've always kept it real with me and at first I
never saw s more than friends got shot down first try but
got up and tried gain
She got the kid wide open
While I sit in this room in between classes,
I close my eyes and I see a cute smile deserving more
I'm gon' try my hardest
Even if it messed up any and everything else
Cause right now all that matters is us
She got the kid wide open
We've been together for a cool minute
Most of it me bein' locked down
But you still stay by my side through it cdl even moms
say we should be together after £dl that's happened so
everything else to me don't matter what everybody else say
She got the kid wide open
When I'm totally out, through doin' a lot now with you
on my side, sayin' I'm forever ride or die
So I'm gonna make it long as possible to keep you in my
world... my life, my everything so just no it's me and you
till the end of time
'Cause she got The Kid wide open.
-Lil' Solid, Alameda
From The Beat: There's a saying "Before you can say 'I love you', you
have to be able to %x^ the 'i'." Meaning, can you give this girl the love
she deserves and needs without getting your own life together? Do you
have your own life together? Because in this poem you %x^ you'd "mess
everything else up" to make it work. But is that a good idea?
Howl Handle Thinys
How you doin'? Me? Great. Just chillin' in the halls! Not goin'
anywhere soon... So anyhow, to answer your questions:
How do I address my feelings? I keep everything to
myself, so I basically don't address my feelings.
How do I react to disappointment? Sometimes I get
irritated and sometimes I feel let down and hurt, torn.
Do I get angry? Of course, who doesn't?
How do I handle my anger? I sometimes wait 'til I'm alone
and I cry aloud and throw a tantrum, or I just keep it bottled
up and ignore it.
You want to know a time I was disappointed? Let's see.
So one time I was talkin' to my sister on the phone, and she
promised me she would come visit me on Saturday an' bring
me some hot Cheeto Puffs and a Pepsi. When that day came,
she didn't show up. And another time I was talkin' to my
father on the phone and he told me that he would be in the
city and that he would call me. So I waited a few days and
when I called him, he didn't answer his phone. So I called my
uncle an' found that he had been in the city for three days
and he was at his son's house.
-Titi, San Francisco
From The Beat: You know, Titi, you don't have to answer each question
we ask to write a good Beat piece. You just have to take the topic, think
about it, then write the way you want to explain what you want to say.
Still, we appreciate that you took this topic seriously and gave u% good
examples of your disappointments. It seems like what disappoints you
most is when people don't keep their word, so can we ask you if you've
given your word not to come back here? Will you disappoint yourself?
We hope not.
See, girl I am not here to tell you no BS lies.
I am here to keep it real, and tell you, you look real fly.
You know I don't mean to be rude but I can't help but
you look real good in those apple bottom jeans.
Don't get the wrong idea, that's not why I came over for.
I came over to talk to you
My purpose here today is just to get to know you.
I am not like all those other clowns who just want to get
in those jeans.
See me on the other hand,
I am the type of guy who wants to get to know you.
Be your friend, be your man.
And even possibly see us in the future with a nice
Livin' in a three story house with a white picket fence
And a dog named Spike. Wow....
I can't believe I am daydreaming about me and
Kimberly right now in Math class. Wow, I got to get a
hold over myself right now, because she is way out of my
league, and she is the most popular girl in school, and I
am just a low life from the ghetto. She's a rich girl who
moved here from Orange County, so I know I can't be her
type. I bet her type is tall, tan with muscles, and comes
from a wealthy family
I have one thing and that's the brains, looks and
the personality. See this girl is between Alisha Keyes
and Cassy off of Bad Boy Entertainment, she has the
measurements of 34C, 23, 34, but that's not all she stands
for. She also likes sports and has a great personality, and
is down-to-earth, she's very smart, and there's me, a kid
who loves to dance, who likes to keep my head in the
books, likes to skateboard, and I like to shoot at things
- in paintball tournaments !~
"HELLO! Excuse me, Mr. S! Are you paying any
attention right now?"
Ah shhh, I am in it for now, stay tuned to see what's
going to happen to Corey in his encounter with the
teacher in class.
From The Beat: We'll be waiting for Part 2, and you are ANYTHING but
"a low life from the ghetto" and if you just stay true to who you are,
the real you, you will find the girl of your dreams eventually. Just wait
- true love will find you!
Dealino with Anger
It's hard you know, dealing with anger. But it can be
handled because anger isn't necessarily bad; anger can
help you sometimes and protect the ones you love.
One time my cousin and I were walking home from a
quincefiera and I stopped to light up a cigarette.
My cousin went along when I looked up again and
saw two others come up and hit him in the face and right
there I lost it. I ran up and knocked out the first person
then grabbed the other off my cousin and just let loose, I
Afterwards I looked at my hand and saw the cigarette
had burned my hand and my white tee was full of blood.
After I helped my cousin up and he was like, "damn, those
fools were like twenty, twenty-two!"
I was like, "I ain't never gonna let no one no matter
how big, mess with you!"
-Stefon the Don, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Anger is a powerful motivational tool. We all Icnoiv what
it^ like to "lose it". All of the sudden, skn inner switch is turned on and
we act almost without thought. Using anger sk% a source of strength can
take you a long way, but it has its limits. What happens in a situation
that angers you but requires you to think calmly and logically to survive?
How would you handle this Stefon?
I started to be in the system when I was about 10 or
II years old. I lived in San Jose and was chilling with
my homies and got caught up for burglary, which wasn't
Well, I was around my uncles and I started smoking
stoggies when I was 10. After that, I turned to weed when
I was about 11.
My family was into slanging pills, meth, weed,
anything - and that's where I'd get my connects from.
I started poppin pills when I was 12 years old and I
just got addicted.
I got into my first fight when I was in the 4th grade. My
uncles and cousins came through and since I was raised
around guys, they'd tell me to beat her ass or I'd get my
ass hurt by them. I smashed on the chick and since then,
my love for fighting grew.
Since I'm half Vietnamese and Mexican, I grew up
with different gangs and I was well-respected and known
around the hood.
I later took on the family business of slanging drugs
when I was a young teen.
I have gotten into more and more fights and been
charged with "assault with battery" charges. One day a
guy from a rival gang disrespected me and my homies
picked me up and saw the fool walking, got out of the car
and stabbed him. I later was charged for another assault.
I was on house arrest for months and I got into another
fight that led me here. Well I guess I'm gonna continue
later. Keep ya head up!
-Krissy, Santa Clara
From The Beat: Maybe you ran out of time when you were able to talk
about the future and how you want to change, because that seems to
be missing. But after hearing about your family history and your past,
wre lAfonder hoiw you see yourself and iwhat you have learned from being
I I I I III
I I I I I I I
Yo check out my rhyme
It'll be just a minute of your time
Right now I wish I can smoke a dime
But I know it's a crime
'Cause now I'm sittin' here in a cell
Startin' to look pale
Thinkin' I'm in hell
But I'm really in a teenage jail
I know I never wanted any of this shhh
And now I'm a ninjette stuck in the pit
Now there's a goal I wanna set
It's to quit play'in with buUshhh
Even though my parents don't care about me
I'm gonna succeed and be what I can be
'Cause at the end its gonna be them needin' me
And I ain't gonna be there to hear their plea
Well let me tell you how it is behind these walls
It's hard when every one reject my calls
With hands behind my back as I walk threw these halls
Now I know not to be breakin' them laws
- Shenee, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: It was a very good rhyme, but now its time to do sk% you
say. Succeed change your life and stay out of these teenage jails,
the right path to a better life
I was raised on these blocks
Clock's always cocked
Running from cops and slanging these rocks
Bustin' shots fools get popped
Homies get locked snitches get dropped
Homies down to ride
Homies in the varrio never bark but always bite
Always takin' flight keep this game locked tight
Put in jail for the varrio fight
For what I think is right
Livin' it fast getting' killed young
That's how it is when you pick up that gun
Puttin' in work in for the C's now he lays six feet deep
It was a ugly murder seen
Now his homies on the creep they lookin' for vengeance
They lookin' for me
This shhh ain't gonna stop 'till I D.I.E.
'Till I'm in my casket in eternal sleep
But I stood for the hood through the bad and the good
Puttin' it down for the varrio like the way that I should
I got love for my family
I got love for my friends
We gonna get through this bull 'till we get to the end
Im gonna try to do good, but I'm stuck like a hook
I'm just another soul in this world that got stuck in the
- Lil' Vago, Land Of Enchantment
From The Beat: Interesting rap Vago, but keep in mind if you glorify
gangs, drugs and violence it will get only one of two thing. Death or
prison. Don't be just another soul stuck in the hood; make a change to
better your life. Pull your hook and find a better life then the one you
have been living.
That One Day
I feel like I can't go on
I feel like I'm in this world alone
I close my eyes and wish I was home
Then I open them and that feeling is gone
Thinking, how did I end up this way?
Remembering, it all started that one day
Wishing I could turn back the hand of time
Now wishing I didn't commit that crime
All these thoughts run thru my mind
That's all I do is think 'cause I have nothing but time
Reminiscing on all the fun times I had
Getting pissed off at the world 'cause I never had a dad
Funk it I don't need that ninja
Him being gone made me more strong and bigger
Now I got a family of my own
Time to stop acting childish and start acting grown
I'm going to change for multiple reasons
For my girl, my baby, and my moms so her pain could
A lot of people tell me that I'm someone
Special is this why I get tempted by the devil?
I don't know only time can tell
Whether I go to heaven or burn for eternity in hell
But I know one thing
My love for you will never fell.
-Yj, Santa Clara
From The Beat: We all wish to turn back time to fix our errors or to never
have done it. Unfortunately that's impossible, but the bright side about
it is that we learn from those mistakes. Learning from those mistakes,
make u% see the consequences negative actions come with. Like you
said, you don't need a dad because you already have your own family.
You are the man of the house and they need home. You are a father
and your kid deserve to a father you didn't have. Break the cycle and
don't spin. Everything is possible when having motivations. And you
see many throughout this writing.
Disappointment in Otiiers
I get disappointed when ninjas not solid, when they brag
about what they do. When people do something and get
caught up and snitch on ninjas, that shhh get me hella
disappointed. But yeah, that's why I don't [have] friends...
nothing but family.
- Nacho cheese
From The Beat: Snitching is just a part of that thing cat's iceep calling
"the game." You don't know who's who until the system throws out that
twenty-five years with stn L and says tell u% everything or else. All of
that hard, goon, gangsta crap flies out of the window and reality sets
in real quick. But cats keep playing though. Wake up and worry about
What's up Beat?
In and out of jail in this little cell
Thinking what the hell don't get no bail
Saying "damn I failed"
A knock on the window you got mail
Sleeping and dreaming
Females are singing, phone keeps ringing
No release. No walk down your street.
Nobody to say there's little Reese the beast
Because camp is my release.
From The Beat: Sounds like a case of the "jail house blues!" Better times
are ahead. When they come, don't forget where you were and how much
you don't want to go back there.
A Big Ciiange Is Coming
I've only got three and a half months left to be here, and
then I get released. June 10, 2008, I'll be 18.
I've been coming here since 2004, five years non-stop.
I've learned a lot through these five years. I've been on
every type of probation, eight group homes, and cut from
every single one. I lived fast and raw, I've had a sick life, but
I'll be 18, and that means I'll have a lot of responsibility ...
I'll be a man. I got to take care of my family... man I might
get out and have three kids! I'm going to go to school
In Redwood City then I'll go to Skyline College to get
certified as a mechanic and then it's straight to work, I
got to keep gangbanging separate from daily life ... I got
to keep my head up and make a change. I'm in love with
my hyna, and I won't say her name, plus no one needs to
know her, but me.
From The Beat: It sounds like you have a plan to make it, and that's a
beautiful thing. But can you really keep gangbanging "separate" from
daily life, with everything it requires and how much warfare it brings
in? What about giving it up entirely? If you are serious about what you
I %«y in this piece, that is what you will have to do. Peace. i
Life Before I Haii Ceii Piione!
Man I remember back when I was almost a teen, I use to
have to get those important calls from my girls. I use to
have to be at my house damn near all day. Man, my mom
use to always complain about me being in the house J
talking on the phone to girls all day. I
But after that my mom bought me a cell phone and it
was over! Man I always was on my Metro... Man I stayed
talking to hella different females.
- Mee Too
From The Beat: And noiv? Hmm, maybe that cell phone iwasn't so cool
after all. If you'd stayed talking on the house phone "all day" and not
out running around getting into trouble you'd still be chopping it up
out here and not in there. Come on home and get on point Man. Time
to stand up.
When I am disappointed I be depressed.
From The Beat: Okay, that's a good start... and when you're depressed
what do you do to get rid of it: exercise, write, cry, fight, sleep-it-off?
What do you do?
Love Can Hort
3, '07 I found 1
tien I lost my "
Let me tell you 'bout my love life! On Dec 06
the love of my life! Well , Dec. 6 was when 1 lost my
virginity to this boy named Bones.... After me and him
done, I felt a connection I never felt before. ... Right then
I knew I really loved him. But I have to admit love is
complicated and mixed with pain, and when I first lost my
virginity to him I didn't even go out with him until Jan. 18,
'08. But the thing that hurt me the most is when he went
ito Juvenile Hall, in a week... after I lost my virginity.
But I always been there for him. But our relationship
went good, but I heard he was talking to this other girl.
But I was cool with it. Then he broke up with me, he broke
my heart and then I went up in the hall, but he was the
I first person to write me and be here for me. I love him for
that. Until this day I love him very much!
From The Beat: We hope you that this boy shapes up and treats you
with the respect you deserve. It's one thing to write from jail when
you're locked up and feeling bad, it's another when he's out in the free
world showing disrespect for your feelings. Remember, actions speak
louder than words!
All you see is bright flares when I get cold stares
People love talking shh but I don't really care
They stay all up on mines they need to go elsewhere
So they can elevate their game take a climb upstairs.
My games already up so you can say that I'm high
And I don't use Visine 'cause the drops play with my eyes
I ain't talking about high like a scrape sitting on fours
I'm talking about grapes that keep me strapped like
Yeah you can say that I am
But it's only 'cause I'm different like the green eggs and ham.
From The Beat: We had to cut out a few things due to... well, you know
why. Anyway, "different," huh? Sitting up in juvi, talking crap about
how tough you think you are, getting high and how you "get down."
Yeah, that's original. Come with something else cause that^ played out.
You have great rhyming skills and sometimes you come with some great
pieces but you can't keep bragging and boasting about the criminal
lifestyle. We bet if you wish you could get a POW every week, yet
I Need M]f Cell Phnne
it is I
Cell phones have not created any problems but I need my
phone so I can call my girls and family and friends. And
I kind of got tired of asking people if [I could use their]
phone to call someone or having to walk to the store to
use the phone and call some one.
So yeah, I need my cell phone to keep in contact with
people but being in here I can't talk to any one except
the people here. I need to talk to someone I know [on the
outside] but they wont let me use the phone and it sucks
a lot but I can deal with it for now.
From The Beat: Just another one of the consequences of being locked
up. You can't do what you want to do. You have to do what they tell you
to and when they tell you to do it. Get out of there and stay on track
so you wont have to worry about being disconnected from your folks
like that, B!
^mammmmmmF ^/// //
What's up Beat? This is your girl Melissa. Well today is
a day out after me and my baby's one month anniversary.
We both locked up, and I'm hella mad because today I
found out that he got into a high-speed chase with three
of his patnas and my boyfriend got his head busted.
Damn, I was crying when I heard that today. Because
my boyfriend was on the run for like a month and I told
him to keep his lil' butt outta the streets. But I guess he
wanted to do a foo' and get locked up with me...
As I think of it my baby could have died from that high I
speed, but thank God his life wasn't taken, because that's
my baby and I love him and I miss him.
Baby, you and me will be free again.
From The Beat: This piece ends on that hope, hope for freedom. But
what does freedom mean to you? Does it mean freedom to be with your
man, freedom to get out of the house, freedom from drama, freedom
from fear and stress? What is freedom?
What Keeps Me Up At Night
What keeps me up at night is me having to wake up every
night to these four walls everyday and every morning.
What really irks me is when I know I'm going to be up in
here for a long time and that I probably won't be getting
out no time soon.
When you wake up to some shhh like this every
morning, knowing that you aint gone see the Sun, you
aint gone see your mama, only on visiting day. Knowing
that you probably going to the Y. The only thing I could
do is keep my head up. But it's good, I'm gonna hold it
From The Beat: We feel you Lil' Co. We do, for reai-for real. Don't let the
walls cave in on you. You have to fortify your mind and never lose sight
of YOU... no matter what your surroundings are... no matter what! Feel
that? if not, read it again and think real hard about it. Keep your head
Yeah, I live a double life. I'm a young hitta at all times.
Stay on top. Yeah I could be a criminal but that's my last
But don't get it twisted, another side of me loves the
Lord. I love Jesus and any day I'll pick good before bad,
but for me I've been doing bad for so long, it's way too
hard to do good.
So honestly, I know it ain't good but I know who I am,
I'm a young hitta 'bout my business. It's a time to play but
you gotta know when to put your game face on.
From The Beat: It sounds like you are split in two different directions.
Eventually, you will have to choose between these two sides — does
being in jail push you in one direction or another?
Beini Geekel U|
Being geeked up go skitz man. I use to stay geeked up
out there off hella drank and dro. You know how life is on
them streets 5-0 always be on us young goons out there.
I gotta stay geeked up. I wanna get low but I don't know
how. Ya dig? Help me. Help me.
From The Beat: Well being high and drunk might not be conducive
to staying beneath the system^ radar. When you let go of that goon
mentality you'll start seeing things go your way instead of being blown
around in whatever direction like a wave in the wind. You have to
demonstrate that you want to change first... then people who actually
see you trying will be moved to help you. But it starts with you.
Tie Wi) I Talk
When I'm with my potnas I talk differently then when I'm
with my parents. I talk to my parents with respect and I
don't cuss around them or any other adults. I treat them
From The Beat: How far does that respect go? For instance, when your
parents tell you to stay out of trouble do you respect that? Hmm, just
something to think about.
What's up Beat? This your homie Chikillo. I'm just gonna
write about how my life going. Well, I'm just here in the
hall doing time for a crime I did. I go to court tomorrow.
The judge trying to send me away but I just want a
last chance to be with my family and with my homies,
especially with my son.
I been here for a few months and I miss my freedom.
Well you know I'm just gonna do my time and not try
to come back to the hall and stay out with the homies
kicking it. Well Beat, I'm gone. Late!
From The Beat: You should be staying away from the homies and looking
after the life you brought into the world. That's what's up! Kicking it
with the homies doesn't sound like you're going to be "trying" to stay
out of Jail. Quit playing dude... you got a child now. Focus. Your son
should be at the top of your priority list, not second or third.
I loi't Wait
I never had to wait for hours at home just to wait for
someone to call me, because I never gave nobody my
house phone number, I haven't used no pay phone
because I don't need to.
Whenever I'm gonna meet somebody, I just call them
and tell them to meet me at a certain time. But now that
I'm older, we do need a cell phone because I know I have
a lot of people that needs to call me when they need
something or when they want to kick it with me.
The reason I have Metro PCS is because I have no
minutes I can talk all I want.
From The Beat: Do you spend more time on the phone, or more time
texting? Do feel like you need to have your phone with you
Disappointment in Myseif
at all I
Being here is just not the way. You can't spend all your
life up in here. I mean I can't be mad at no one because
you know what you got yourself into.
In fact, I know that these streets aint for me. I really
can't do anything about it. I'm just doing my time and
just trying to get out of here.
From The Beat: You can do something about it. You can figure out a plan
or strategy to keep yourself out of harms way so when you get out you
don't return to juvenile hall. You know the traps are out here waiting
for you. What can you do to avoid them?
Tiie Squad Time
I remember when me my boys was at my house and we
was off some alcohol and they was taking pictures, and
they took a picture of me and I threw up hella bad. Them
was the good times.
From The Beat: Hopefully you'll get out of there and let those type of
good times be a reminder of why you don't want to go back. Stay out
I Would Give Him My Kidney
I got worried about someone when I got word that my
nephew was in the hospital and he was having problems
with his kidneys. When my mama told me that it was an
infection the first thing that came out of my mouth was I
would give him my kidney. My nephew is my pride and joy
if I lose him I would lose it.
I already lost my niece!
From The Beat: You need to remember the sacrifice you were willing to
make, and think about how badly that little boy needs you to be out
lAfith them, showing him the way to manhood out in the free world. He
needs people who love him nearby!
Tiie Life I Live Made Me Lilie Tiiis
I have a double life, because I live like a criminal and at
the same time I be a gentlemen. When I used to go to the
house I would try to be a gentlemen with my family, and
when I go to the street I am a different person, like if you
see me you would tell me "who are you." Also when I go
to my friends' house, I act all different so they could see
I got respect.
To tell you the truth, I am a really emotional person,
because I ain't mean but the life I live made me like this.
From The Beat: Would you consider changing your life then? Because it
sounds like you don't really like the person you become when you are
out in the street, almost as if he is not the real you.
low Ti Ni Man
Call the coroner, not the doctor
I warned you about these choppa's
Triple homicide police chose including two helicopters
I bow down to no man
And that includes the coppers
-Four Walls Entertainment
From The Beat: The problem is that real freedom means doing the right
thing. And if you do the right thing, you won't have to face the cops
anyway. We want to see you stand up and fight, but you have to know
what you're fighting FOR, not just what you're fighting against.
The skin of my lady is beautiful fair
It smells so sweet, like after rain air
Her lips are so soft, as soft as a cloud
Whenever we kiss, my heart screams aloud
Her skin is so soft, as soft as a pillow
Her stare is so calm, as calm as a willow
No matter what happens, whatever goes down
Her skin will stay beautiful, beautiful brown.
From The Beat: Lucky girl! is this someone you are already with, or
someone you're dreaming of?
When I Get Out
When I get out of this juvenile hall I'm going to go home
to my family and make up for the time I lost when I was in
here. Man, I miss my family. I mostly miss my mom cause
she was the one who came to my court date and shhh.
When I get out we're going to throw a big party.
From The Beat: On top of that party you might want to demonstrate
how much you appreciate her by staying away from and out of trouble.
I would choose my gang life over a normal life because I
want to live in the fast lane. I want to live a happy life to
but it's to far away from gang life.
I would rather die fast by a bullet than slow when
I'm old. I choose this because my bloodline started it. It
goes two generations back and because I was born in the
middle of the hood.
From The Beat: We were under the impression that people wanted a
better life for themselves and their families. Like, that's why people
hustle and bustle for the cash out there. It's not to stay in the "hood"
it^ to get out of the hood and create a foundation for their children
to grow up in a safe and healthy environment so that they can have
chance and an opportunity to make it in this world. Wake up!
Disappointment to me is just being in Juvy and not
being able to see your family and friends or being able to
The first time I felt disappointed was when my
grandma passed away when I was younger. Ever since she
passed away, I felt disappointment because it's not the
same since she's gone, cause she misses my birthday,
Christmas, and other holidays.
From The Beat: We're sorry you lost your grandma. What do you miss
most about her, and what is the greatest advice she ever gave you?
1 Promise You
Roses are Red
Violets are blue
Life could be sweet
And so are you
Love is nice
So wait until tonight
I promise you that I will not bite
- Jerm The Worm 1
From The Beat: You are becoming the master of the love poem
we want to see you expand your range, and use
that talent on
1 subject that matters to you!
Hey Beat, this Lil' Leek. I just want to tell people that
the hall is nothing, but it's not fun to be in. I just want to
get out, so I could see all the girls.
To be free is the best thing 'cause you could do what
you want, so when you get out stay out. That's coming
RIP Emmit, RIP Carl man, RIP to everybody gone and
dead so bye.
From The Beat: Um hmm, the hall is doing exactly what's it's supposed
to be doing: Making you think about what freedoms you forfeit when
you break the law. Don't get us twisted... we don't want you to be there
either, but you have to want to not be there bad enough to stay out of
trouble, it's not supposed to be Disneyland.
I remember I use to ride around the hood when I first got
my new car. It was hot but I had a lot of haters and was
funkin' too hard in it. I rode into the wrong hood in it and
my new car got shot up. Man, I thought I was gonna die
but I didn't.
From The Beat: See what happens when you front? You can't floss when
you have beef... especially in a new car. Come on noyvi
This is how I feel
rm dark in the inside but man Fm so real.
Get angry but be mad at yourself
For you the one who got tangled in this belt
For I am the one who is on my own
Fm not turned off cause I stay on
What y'all said Fm gone make it on my own!
From The Beat: Independence is a good thing... it says that you have
confidence and belief in yourself. It also says that you're a responsible
individual. It's oicay at times to feel that darkness you spoke of. It lets
you know that you're still human. Keep writing!
When it's a sunny day I wonder what my friends are
doing 'cause I know when its rainy days they're up in
their room just like I am... bored, waiting 'till its good
to go out. They're probably living the life. The life is the
ghetto life. Meaning doing everything a ghetto person, or
a person who's on the inside is doing.
From The Beat: Do you mean to say that they are out here struggling
and thinking about freedom? Maybe they're at school or at a movie not
tripping off anything but how good it feels to not be locked up! Hmm,
maybe? But you won't know for sure until you get out.
Living Tlie Dnuiiie Life Lifestyle
I do live the double life because on the outs grown folks
see me as a young decent person who is very helpful, who
goes to school, play sports and who is a regular school
And to my friends Fm bad and a gang-banger who
does bad things to people. The real me is the decent good
school boy but on the outside I run this shhh
From The Beat: Is it possible for both these sides of you to co-exist
peacefully? Or is the rough side of you going to ruin things for the
'decent' side of you?
Deil and Daci(
Fm a soldja
Born into this world for a cause
Been through hell and back
But it's nothin' to a boss
So for all my generals and lieutenants
From The Beat: Remember iwhat? We are waiting for the conclusion!!!
I would choose the gangbanging life. It can still provide
good things you will have by your side, and they will
always have your back.
It will also get you locked up. You will have homies
that are ready to get down whenever you are. That is why
I would choose that life style. This is what us Mexicans
stand for. Cesar Chavez is the founder of Huelga.
From The Beat: Cesar Chavez ivasn't indiscriminately killing off his oiwn
people. In fact, he fought to make sure his people, no, all people, could
get fare treatment on the workforce and not be exploited by the system.
And as far as the homies go, how many of them are breaking their backs
to write you or come to court for you?
I'm good, girls stay up. Man, when I get out we gon' go
dumb. Man, I'm tired of being in here. Man, don't trip girls
we gon' go dumb.
From The Beat: Wow, you probably need to "go smart" for a change. It
might help instead of harm you in the long run.
Yonr Giri n Tiie Weei(enil, Dut Wiiat Does
Slie Do During Tiie Weei(?
It's kind of hard being at camp when ya chick is out there
in Oakland doin' it with her people Monday through
Friday, while you in camp and roll call gettin' counted
like sheep every thirty minutes and gettin' stressed out
You trying to avoid write-ups to get all your hours to
see them, and they out getting drunk and high getting
into relationships! But I know ninjas be talking 'bout "my
chick on me but she don't drink or smoke." But I seen it,
they do it all on the week and put on act on the weekend,
so that's why I am out.
It's Majie Go Baby, and don't take out the "Go Baby"
'cause it's me, me, me, it's all 'bout me, chicks get played
like a Nintendo Wii.
-Majia Go Baby
From The Beat: We had some debate in the office on whether or not to
keep the last part of your piece, but we decided to leave it... because
obviously you have seen some examples of broicen trust. But straight
up - if a person wants his girl to be faithful, he needs to man up and get
it together so he won't get put in jail. A girl deserves a boyfriend who
there for her seven days a week, not just on the weekends.
Not all unemployed are lazy
Not all dropouts are dumb
Not all married couples are happy
And not all homeless are bums
From The Beat: Not all talents produce/Or live up to the talent they got/
They write pages and pages for weeks/And then when we say "did you
write?" they did not!
You're beautiful like a butterfly
When I see your beautiful face I smile
Thinkin' about you makes me go wild
When I lie to you I'm in denial
So I must tell the truth
I romance about knockin' the boots
You're sweet as a honey bee
I am searching the bottom of the sea or the tallest tree
But baby, they don't make 'em like me please
When I look into your eyes
I feel like I can fly
Now I sometimes wonder why
The way those pants hug those hips
Makes me lick them lips
You're gorgeous as a rose
That's my favorite flower
I feel your skin so soft and smooth
But baby I hope you never have to choose
-Go Diego Do
From The Beat: We hope there^ a lucky girl who did inspire this poem,
and we hope that you if there isn't, you get out and find one! This poem
will win her, but itls your ability to stay true that will keep her.
What Keeps Me Here
What's good Beat, Fm at camp, hella bored and doing
nothing but getting mad at staff and trying to stay and do
this camp thing I hate this place having to take a doo-doo
right next to someone and a shower and sleepy next to
more than a hundred guys make me want to run.
But I know I can't run because it's just going to make
everything worse for me. In 12 days I get my first hour, so
I'm going to stay and do this little seven months.
The Things That Make Me Stay: My family, the
And that's all that makes me stay in this goddamned
camp and that's on the real.
From The Beat: It's good that you know what you have found reasons to
stick out the program. And while you are here, take advantage of every
single program you can. Get sk% much out of the system sk% possible!
What's up Beat, this is Guero from San Francisco, 'bout
to get out of camp in a month and a half ... if I don't get
into a fight or a dirty. I'm cool today.
The only thing I'm trippin' off is my homie. He got
shot with a shotgun in his back. He has hella beads in
his back and go to his liver. In a couple of years he can be
slower and some other shhh. I don't know, I hope the best
Stay up and when you get out be safe, watch out for
moving cars, even people walking.
From The Beat: We could say the same to you - it's hot out there, and
when you let yourself get caught up in beef, it gets hotter. Do you have
a strategy for staying safe?
Don't Call Me Back Again!
Cell phones it's all right, I mean I like having a cell
phone but at the same time it's annoying. I like having a
cell phone because I got to call whoever I want at any time
instead of bumming off someone else's phone. I don't like
cell phones , because I be having hella people blowing up
my phone, feel me, once I don't pick up don't call me
What do you think , I will pick up the phone the
From The Beat: Ah, the price of popularity. Do you ever think that having
that cell phone makes so many demands on your time that it becomes
harder to get things done when you need to? Like work, school, etc?
Just Wirds: "In Sone Deei Stiff!"
It's your boy Looney once again, coming to drop some
lines from Camp. I've been good here now for two months
and I'm planning on doing good for the rest of my program
Last week I had eleven days until the baby was here
and now he'll be here in four days or less.
I'm dummy juiced about the whole "being a father"
thing. My patna up here just had his baby the other day...
he said "It was cool, but I'm in some deep stuff — LOL --
so I'm just waiting. The homies up here are doing good,
so they're helping me with my stress level.
But I don't really have much else to say right now, so
From The Beat: Well, you're in some deep stuff now for sure, but you
also have a purpose and meaning coming to your life that you've never
had before. Do you think a lot will change in your life now?
What's up Beat, this is Lil' Capy. Well I really don't got
nothing to write about I'm just gonna write about how I'm
feeling today, well I'm not that coo'. I got a letter today
talking about a homie that was hella coo' with snitched
on someone... It's always the last person you expect.
The cops try to scare you by telling you they will give
you life in prison or they say your homie snitched on you,
so you can tell on him.
From The Beat: Seems like the best way to avoid the snitch problem is
to just NOT DO the kinds of things a snitching could get you in trouble
for, right? But you know that already, don't you?
I am disappointed because I have so much going for
me, and I take it for granted.
I have never lived with my parents I have no family, I
have been living in group homes and foster homes since I
was four. If you were to look at me or talk to me you would
think that my parents have given me home training. I am
a senior in high school with enough credits to walk the
stage, I work for a church that also comes to this juvenile
hall to talk to kids I have bank accounts.
-Young but mature
From The Beat: Don't all those disappointments make you even more
proud of what you have achieved? It takes a lot of strength to raise
yourself, which is what it sounds like you did. And you found a church,
you studied at school. Do you feel proud of yourself for what you have
done in life already?.
The dark side in Oakland is the same thing:
Guns, drugs, hitting up a dice game.
Trying to graduate but the exit exam's holding me back
Damn man why they won't cut me no slack?
Three relatives in college, man I wish that could be me
Scared for the diploma I might not see
Cold steel on my hip to get rid of the haters.
Never thought I would be in this situation when I was a
Taught to never love nothing but my hood.
Females cry at night wishing I understood.
My big sis Nee-Nee cried when I went down that day.
She told me not to mess with that ninja ...I knew he was
Pops told me only family is real.
Messing with fake ninjas would get you in here.
From The Beat: But Derrick, you have all you need to make it: Your own
talent, which we can see in your writing, examples of people who have
gone to college in your own family, and for that matter, a loving family
. who will support you in your dreams. Does knowing this help you feel
I more confident?
Disappnintment Nn Tiianits, Hi Stay Mad
Me, I rather get mad than disappointed. Disappointment
is way worse than angry. I got disappointed because of
my nephew. He went to Juvenile Hall. It's his first time,
he got a home invasion and kidnapping case.
I didn't even get mad, I just got disappointed because
I thought he knew better than that, I thought hew as
smarter. I hope he gets out though.
From The Beat: The thing is that your nephew looks up to his older
family members, he will follow the examples that you all set, right? So
maybe if you start doing right, HE will start doing right.
The only time I text is when I see where's my patnas are
at and what they Anna get into. I rather talk on the phone
though because if I hear a person's voice I know what
they up to and what mood they're in.
From The Beat: They say that 95% of all communication is non-verbal,
which means that like you say, the words themselves aren't enough, you
can tell a lot about a person from their faces, tone of voice, how they
are standing etc.. .Do you agree with that?
Cell PtoKS Help People
Cell phones has helped a lot because when there weren't
any cell phones and you're in the middle of nowhere and
you get shot, how are you going to get help? Instead
you're going to die.
Cell phones are always helpful because if you don't
want to talk at your house you want to wander around
and talk whenever you want. It has also helped because
anybody can call you anytime without anybody in your
business --this is why cell phones have helped a lot of
From The Beat: How old were you when you got your first cell phone?
How old do you think is the right age for a child to get one
Disappointed le Tko Sistem
I am mostly disappointed in the way the probation
officer and the judge are handling things right now, they
are punishing me and recommending things like I am a
threat to society, but I am mostly a threat to myself and
my well being. They say they wanna put me in a group
home, but at the same time they never had to come find
I've turned myself in the only two times I've ever
violated, and have never went on the run and the baddest
thing I've done is come with a couple dirty drug tests.
That to me seems like no reason to take me away from my
From The Beat: We definitely hope that you get home soon. What do
you think makes them want to suggest that you could be a threat to
Hard To Control
Disappointment is hard to control, but how I address
my feelings is that you have to fight back or get back at
Like one time I remember when I got into it at school
and the boy said something about my dad, so I tripped
out. The teacher got in my way and I punched him and
assaulted the boy. I kept hitting him and hitting him ...
another teacher came so I hit her.
But that's only because my dad died right in front of
me and you know how hard that was ... I was disappointed
at the whole world, that time I didn't know what to do.
My mom never was there so that incident happened,
I got kicked out of Rudsdale Academy, so after that I
started to go to jail time after time so that the real reason
I get disappointed 'cause my dad but now I can control
my anger its hard but I have to 'cause it didn't get me
nowhere but jail. RIP daddy ...this for you.
From The Beat: Do you have any kind of support for these feelings?
Anger management classes? Family to give you advice? Dad must have
been incredibly painful, but getting locked up just csku%e% you more
I think I should be getting a release soon to camp, but
you know how they get down with them thirty day wait
thangs...so ninjas won't be thinking bout running or
-Time is near
From The Beat: How are you going to u%e those thirty days? To study?
To write letters? To do extra homework? To plan for your future? Look
at those thirty days sk% a chance to be thirty days ahead of the game
when you get to camp!
Living A Confosed Life: Interview
TBW: Do you live the double life?
Tay: Honestly man it gets rough out here where I'm from,
so I gotta say I live kind of a triple life.
TBW: Explain how you live a triple life?
Tay: I say I live a triple life because I be having a lot of girls
so I would say I got a lover side (not soft though), that's
one. Then on the low-low I get money selling thangs for a
cool price, some label me a hustler that's two then to most
of my family, girlfriend mothers etc, and school staff I'm a
regular kid with a steady environment that's smarter then
the average youngsta out here, so that's three...
TBW: Living the triple life... does it create problems for
you either at home or with your homies?
Tay: Yeah it creates problems all the time because of time.
It seems like me and time don't got too much in common.
When I'm trying to get my hustle on, my mother need me
to do this or that soon as I'm through my broad wanna
kick it or do some thangs, if you know what I mean, plus
while all that's going on I got homework.
TBW: Does it ever leave you confused?
Tay: No it don't ever leave me confused because I plan
my moves very careful kinda like a game of chess against
God for my life.
TBW: What do you do when your family wants to do one
thing but your family want to do another?
Tay: I look at my homies as family but I go the way my
blood tell me to because blood thicker then water.
TBW: Can you satisfy one part of your life without
disappointing the other?
Tay: Always ...because all you gotta do is keep it real
unless you lie for the better.
TBW: Are you struggling to give up this triple life and
put both feet on one path or the other? Which will you
Tay: No I am not trying to give up my triple life, and also
no I'm not answering anymore questions!
From The Beat: We wish you had answered even more questions, because
this interview leaves u% wanting to knoiv more. There is only one of you
to live these three lives, so something is going to have to fold soon...
which life is it that got you in Juvenile Hall? And when you are in here,
which one are you leading. And which life, deep down, is the one you
are most proud of?
I Hate Livino The Double Life
I am living a double life, I am a good person around my
mom and my girl, but when I get in the streets I'm a whole
new person. That's the reason why I'm in Juvy, 'cause I
was acting up in the streets and got caught up.
I hate living the double life, 'cause now I'm in the hall
and I can't see my girl and I can't see my mama. Living the
double life isn't cool, 'cause my boys be wanting me to do
things I wouldn't normally do, like rob someone, but on
the other hand my mama be having me do right, like stay
away from people like that.
So in the end, I am living the double life and when I
get out of here I wont be living that life no more.
From The Beat: Do you think maybe the problem is your "boys"? Do you
have friends who are more positive, who will help you lead the icind of
life you really want to live?
Wbei I'D lisaipiinted I Pray
When I get disappointed I pray to God. I address my
feelings by talking to God and hoping he will help me
come to my senses. Yeah -- I get mad but after I pray I
get sad. But soon I get OK. I was disappointed when the
wrongfully accused me for pistol-whipping somebody.
I have disappointed my whole family by coming to
Juvenile Hall. Yea I have a good and bad side but since I
come from a good family I always do the right thing so the
From The Beat: Nice - what kinds of plans are you working on to make
sure that the Angel side of you gets stronger and stronger, so you can
get out of the system and stay out?
I deal with disappointment by smoking weed, and
drinking drank -- mostly sipping bo', and when I'm in a
situation that do not go my way I do not address my feelings
'cause I usually be too high. I react to disappointment by
mostly going to shoot dice or rob somebody because if
I'm disappointed that usually mean I'm broke.
A time I was disappointed is when I ran from 5-0 and
got caught so that's what disappointed me. I stayed quiet
and beated on the walls 'cause I thought it would help.
From The Beat: If you keep living this ivay, you might find yourself with
a lot more disappointment! You gotta find another way to deal with
your life and your stress - do you have positive people around you who
can help you?
I lin't Comii' Back
What's up Beat, it's ya boy T back in the hall. I don't
know why people think they hard just because they come
to jail, they think it's cool to come in here and then they
tell they friends that they been locked up, saying that
they been here this many times that been smash and in
here - but what is that doing good for you? I only been to
jail three times and I ain't tryna come back. This ain't it.
I'd rather be at home with my baby mama, my baby girl,
my mom and pops and my annoying ass lil' sister.
But damn - it is what it is and sometimes you can't do
nothing about it. But yeah I got court tomorrow and I got
a pretty good feeling I'm getting out and all I gotta say is I
ain't coming back.
From The Beat: We hope you mean it, 'cause like you say, jail is no place
to be, no place to be proud of, no place to return to. But what would you
need to change to make sure you don't come back?
I Got Away
What thizz it?" Yee! It's J on demand, like Comcast.
I'm 'bout to tell y'all a story about a time I got away from
them boys (police.) We was at this party in Mill Valley, the
whole turf. I popped a pill on the bus, in the function (party)
and two halves, walking to the function. So you already
know I was super lam (high). Anyway, we get into the party.
We only there for, like, 45 minutes before the girl who party
it was start screaming, "Everybody leave — the police are
coming." I drop my orange juice and in my head, I'm like,
"Oh, shhh. I can't go to the halls tonight."
I run around the party, tellin' my ninjas, "We gotta go.
We gotta shake," and my ninjas goin' super bad on the
female. She, like, "I didn't call them! It wasn't me!" and
she was crying. I knew her, went to school with her, and
all that, but I just couldn't feel sorry for her. It was like my
compadres was sayin', "Why throw a party just to kick us
Then her brother came, "Everybody out now!" He wasn't
tough, though, he had on some tighty whities and a scarf.
We was just laughin' at him. Then the girl came to me and
said, "Jordan, you have to get these people out the house."
She was still crying. I told my ninjas, but they wouldn't
budge. I told other people. Nobody would leave, though, so
I said, "Whatever," and sat on the couch and sipped some
Tampico. I decided to smoke a Black and Mild, so I open the
door, 'bout to go outside, when I see big ass lights. It
was the police. Girls screamed. Everybody ran outside.
I see one of the potnas that was on the run. I tell him to
leave. He said, "They can't arrest all of us."
I'm hella lam (high), following my ninjas around the
house (it was hella big.) We go upstairs and hide in the
girl' room. She came upstairs, screaming, and my cuddy
cook was about to sleep her ass, but I told him not to. So
we went back downstairs and people was walking around
looking dumb, then I see my kinfolk being posted on the
couch. I'm like, "What's wrong with you?" He say, "Don't
worry 'bout me, lil' ninja. You betta shake," so I'm looking
around and I go in the kitchen and there was a door. Get
through there, it was a porch. I see my ninja, Dre, and they
was over there, smoking a 'Port (Newport.) We shake from
I forgot what happened. I remember seein' all my ninjas
at a Mexican restaurant down the hill from her house, and
everybody was like, "Ayy! We got away." And I seen one of
my potnas and they with this girl, so I hop in the car and
do it movin', like a U-haul truck. But, yeah, that's it for my
story. Stay up, heads up. Stop snitchin'. The whole nine —
all gas, no breaks.
From The Beat: You're great at telling stories and you're having some great
adventures, but where does this endless partying lead to? Did anyone get
arrested? By the way, where is your life leading? Where do you want it to
go? Unfortunately this is the time to wake up and take action, or, roll the
dice and you may find yourself back in this hole.
My homeboys and I planned to go to Sausalito on a
Saturday so that they could pop acid and I'd pop pills and
we'd spend the day trippin' and thizzen and smoking six
spliffs we already had rolled up. i
On Saturday morning, my two homies decided to I
go to Berkeley instead of Sausalito, but I couldn't make
that bus in time. They wouldn't wait on me to catch the
next bus so I could come, too. I decided not to trip off
of trick shhh, so I went and smoked a chopper with my
other homies in the headlands. The next day I found out
that those (jerks) missed the bus and went to Sausalito .
From The Beat: What's this seeming compulsion to have drugs be the
major part of any adventure your groups of homies and you have? Can
you have fun without being high? Do you ever go anywhere alone? Can
you have a great time with no drugs by yourself? Why don't you try it
sometime? We hope you try, given where you sit today.
Two Different Paths
For me, living the double life is like going into two
The good one is with family, being good, going to
school, and getting money, working.
The other one is gangbanging, and doing bad things
and hustling for money.
From The Beat: Are you living this double life you describe? If so,
how do you accommodate helping your family, going to school, with
gangbanging and hustling for cash? How does your being in juvy affect
your family? Does your double life confuse and hurt your family, and
i Don't Know
I don't know what this world is coming to
I don't know what this life is about
I don't know what's worth fighting for
I don't know why I don't
I don't know why I should care
I don't know when is the end
I don't know I'm even here
I don't really know anything
I don't know why I ever pretend
I don't know you and really don't care
I don't know this so-called God
I don't know this earth
I don't know this so-called space
I just don't know very much
From The Beat: At least you know what you don't know — that's a start,
it can be lonely and scary to realize that nobody has these answers for
you, but it can also be wild and exhilarating, because you get to travel
the world discover skn^ answers for yourself.
Super Dypliir Last Dne
Super hyphy, last party, gonna do it big
Party with the girls, pop thizz, sip on Hen
I got on stage with Mistah Fab
Couldn't believe I did it that fat
Went outside to get some air
Sat down, saw a blunt bigger than a straw man
I can't believe what I saw
From The Beat: it sounds like you're always super hyphy, even in juvy.
Can you be unhyphy when you want to? Do you ever become serious
or sad about anything? Then what happens? This is a time for you to
mature up, otherwise you have a hard road ahead.
My Last Ciiance
Damn, I'm doing cool in here. Can't wait to go home. I
plan to do better. I know I always be saying I'm going do
better and I never do.
I I'm supposed to get out of here next week on the
bracelet and it's my last chance, so hopefully, I leave.
From The Beat: Now that you have another chance, do you think you
could u%e some help to stay cool on the outs? Do you have someone your
family that's stn adult, a neighbor, doctor, juvy counselor who you trust
that you can go to? Please get skn^ help you need now.
My life is like looking at a mirror
A different person on the mirror
At school I stay clean and sober
And just stay out of trouble
But in the streets, I creep
And I drink
I pop and feel like I'm about to get a heat stroke
After it wears down, I smoke
Til the sun goes down
And I pass out
Til the next day, I'm out
From The Beat: You have interesting insights into your two sides. Who
is the person you see in the mirror? How does the clean young man feel
about the shadow guy who creeps at night? What does your dark side
feel about the guy who is clean and sober every day? it's time for the
sober guy to take action and better his life! Step up and don't be foolish
with your freedom or program!
I'm disappointed because last week I got out. I just did
three weeks, but it was nothing. But now, a week later,
I'm back in here with a gang charge. Is all good. I'll do my
six weeks like nothing. Much love.
From The Beat: Being in juvy is not all good, it may be something you
can endure because you have to, but what's really going on?
Well, it's my first time here in the halls and the whole
time I've been here has been hella boring. It gave me time,
though, to think about my actions.
Now I know not to mess up on the outs, 'cause I'm
gonna end right back up in here. I got one more week and
I hope it goes by quick, 'cause I got hella stuff to do when
I get out.
From The Beat: What are you thinking about your actions on the outs?
What% your plan upon getting out?
Dur Lives Devolve Around Dur Cell Phones ^
Cell phones haven't created any problems for me yet. I
imagine that it would cause hella problems to not have
Almost everyone has a cell phone and hella people's
lives revolve around their phone. Some people have
everything on their phone. People got E-mail.
From The Beat: How has your cell phone made your life easier? What
all do you keep on your phone? Now that you can't have your phone
in juvy, what is all that silence, with no gadget to play with, like for
Living Fuli Time
Naw, I don't live a double life. I live full time, feel me.
Yeah, Fm a gang member, ain't no denying it. Who don't
know that I bang? Mom does, pops, brothers, sisters,
grandparents, aunties, uncles, POs, the next-door
neighbor, every body, man.
But back to the subject. I breathe, sleep, eat and use
the bathroom with my 'hood. To me, my name and image
is permanently engraved, just like my tattoo. I love my
That's all I can say 'cause I'm not used to writin'
on y'all topics, homie. I'm usually in m own world, con
diablos, demons y loksteros (with devils, demons and
crazies.) All right then. Late much love and all respect to
all the chosen few.
From The Beat: And we add all our respects to all, chosen or not! The
only thing we can say to you is that you don't know what tomorrow
holds (nobody knows the future). So, at least hold out the possibility
that the way you see yourself and the world today MAY not be the way
you see it in the future.
In The Shadow Of Biy Brother
Life is weak because you can trust no one. The people
that you love is the one that stab you in the back the
most. Sometimes I think about the people that I be with.
Do they really care about me? I'm D-Nice lil' brother.
The people that love my big brother say they love me. Do
My life is weak. All the ninjas I be with, to me they
fake. My ninja Ant is the only ninja that I got love for
because he told me, "I don't give damn D-Nice is your big
brother. I will beat yo' ass." Ever since then, I have love
Every body in the 'hood will be like, "That's D-Nice
lil' brother. Don't touch him." But Ant didn't care. That's
why I cant wait to come home. Ant is the only ninja I got
From The Beat: We're a little confused. You say that you are D-Nice^
little brother, but then you sign your name as D-Nice. Are you your own
little brother? That's not just a joke question, it's our way of telling you
that you have to love yourself and stop worrying whether people love
you or not. It sounds like you have grown up in the shadow of an older
brother with a rep, and that you want to be seen and judged on your
own merits or demerits. That's fair enough. So, stop worrying about him
and start getting your act together. Then people will see that you are an
individual, whether you're somebody^ brother or not.
livini Oie life, Nit liitle
Me, I live one life, a criminal a gang banger and a nice
guy. But I consider that one person living a hard life. Pops
was gone, then came back, then left again, then came
back. So it really confusing. But my life is cool though.
I gangbang and I do what I do. I bang hard but it
doesn't mean I can't be a successful person. Right now
I'ma be locked up for a minute until I take my case to trial
and I beat it. But I don't know if I'm going to beat it, but
there a possibility. I'm not tripping that much, but I hope
I beat it.
My life is different from a lot of people life, but I live
one life of my own.
From The Beat: What does your lawyer tell you about going to trial?
Sometimes, the voice of experience is worth listening to. if there is a
possibility of losing at trial and facing worse consequences, then you
have to think careful about what's best for your future. We wish you
would write a piece that focuses just on that last sentence. How is your
life different from a lot of peopled lives? What do you want out of life?
HoiAf do you hope to achieve it?
Topics In One
I don't remember life before cell phones so I cant answer
that. I've never lived a double life so I don't know. I clean
my room and that's it. But if I see my aunt cleaning,
I'ma tell her to stop and I'll clean it up. I don't deal with
disappointment I just accept it and move on.
From The Beat: Here's the thing about The Beat. We don't want you
to write one sentence about each topic. We want you to choose the
topic that appeals to you most, and write a lot about it. There's no
right way to do it, but you must tell us a lot more than one or two
sentences. In other words, you have to do some thinking before you do
some writing. You don't have to answer all the questions in whatever
topic you choose, you just have to explain what you are thinking, and
give plenty of details and examples. That's what makes a Beat piece.
I wanna know what's your fantasies and your fears
I wanna know what makes you sad and shed tears
I wanna hold you deep into the night
I wanna make your dark days turn into light
But all this I can't tell you 'cause I'm only able to see yo' face
It's tearin' me up inside and arising so much hate
Your long hair and your baby face I long to touch
No need to talk, baby girl, just hush
You're oh so fine and I like the way you walk
You got a sexy-ass voice when you talk
Auburn highlights in your hair, to me that's a plus
Shows how feisty you are out of all the bunch
Light brown skin, what more can I say
A cholita too... damn, now I'm going crazy
I see you in yo' purple cind khaki £ind I know you know me
I want to be your lover not just your homie
I remember the last time I saw you, we were lightweight
deep and drunk
Posted at the bus stop then we seen a rival, you
probably remember now, huh
I had on the Girbauds, black hoody, Jordans and a SF hat
Had a warrant, got sent to my group house and that was
the end of that
But I still remember you with your pretty eyes.
I'm catchin' feelings and I barely know you, that's no lie
I wanna be your man if you let me to
And I hope you feel the same way I do
Miss Payasa will you be my boo
And I promise to always be truthful to you
Always until my casket drops
From The Beat: You've created the ideal love with words so fine/A skilled
poet, line after line/But hoiv much is real and hoiv much is dream/When
you're locked up, things aren't always what they seem/And if the choices
you make lead to lock-up with your crew/You can be truthful to her, but
can you be true/With both behind bars, all you have is mind love/We
urge you to find a way to stay free and, then, truly find love!
My Double Life
Livin' the duce duce life, you know
Let me tell you, one bangin'
The other one being at home
Being a mother, a single one
When I'm out bangin'
Reppin' the color
The one I put it down for'
From The Beat: We're kind of disappointed in this from you, Monstrita.
Not only did we have to cut about half of your piece, since we won't let
you rep your colors in The Beat, we're more disappointed that it appears
you've forgotten that you only have one thing to rep from now on, and
that's your child. You can't both be the mother you say you want to be
and the homie you take such pride in here. You can't avoid making a
choice, if you choose one, you lose the other. So, which one will it be?
Here Again, Another Detonr
What's up, Beat? Yeah, I'm back once again, but don't
think for once I'm here to stay, because this is just a
detour for me. I don't plan on staying for very long. And,
yeah, I'm strugglin' to stay sane, looking at them four
walls in my room. But like always, I'ma suck it up and
finish my time and take it as another experience. And, as
they say, "If it don't kill you, it a make you stronger."
From The Beat: You know what, Resha, we believe that some things that
don't iciii you don't maice you stronger, but weaicer. Every time you get
lociced up (and when we read a piece that starts, "I'm bade once again..."
we know you haven't lived up to your promises to yourself), we think it
wfeakens you. That means you have to act now; while you're still strong,
to stop doing what you know will lead you here (because it has before),
and start doing things that are hard now, but will pay off in the future.
We knoiAf you won't be here long, but only you know whether you'll be
What's With The Release?
The name is Caprice
I'm tryna get released
Got me in my cell, begging God, "Please!"
Been in since January 26th
Now ain't that about a stitch
My best friend turned out to be a snitch
Thinking about really putting damage on that witch
At least I can turn an' face to my true ninja, Jarome
Judge out her mind, sending me to a group home
Making me think I don't have a place to call home
But on my dead homie, Karem, I'ma stand strong
And to my sis, Mercedes, I won't be gone for long
Hope I would change before I do wrong
All day and night, stressing in this dome
Once in a while, you get to touch a phone
But at least I get to see my dad
Thinking about being locked up, turns me mad
But it's too late for all that
But when I get out, I'ma be back where I was at
And that's a fact
Mobbing to this day, it don't stop
From The Beat: Your best friend should have been yourself. If you
gave someone information that they could use to get themselves out
of a situation, then you put yourself here, nobody else. Time to take
responsibility for your own actions, and not point the finger. The judge
is not out of her mind, but if you think you can avoid the consequences
of your actions, then maybe you're not in your right mind! The entire
criminal justice system, from juvenile hall to death row, is based on a
foundation of snitching, and that will never change. The only thing you
can do is change your act so that you are back in control of your life. But
instead, you advertise here that when you get out you're going right
back to what got you here. Do the same, expect the same...
Living The Doubie Life
Yes, I do live the double life because it works. I am used
to doing good at home and school, but then, again, I
like to hang out and have fun. This double life affects
me at home and school because somehow it always gets
in the way of my plans. Yes, sometimes it does have me
confused because I try to live both, but something always
goes wrong. I always listen to my family first, because
they won't lead me into danger. Yeah, if I just stay true to
myself. No, because I feel it's a little easy to live both.
From The Beat: First, we have to tell you that to write a Beat piece
is not just to answer the questions we ask. In fact, you don't have to
answer any of our questions to write a great piece. Just take the topic
and see where it leads you in your own words. And second, how can you
see living the double life "works" when you're writing those words from
behind walls? Would you be locked up if it worked? If this is working for
you, we'd hate to see what happens when things don't work.
What's good with The Beat? This yo' boy V-Guttah waiting
for the day to get on. But 'til then, I'm in here chillin'
trying to kill time and all the shhh. But when I get out, all
y'all ninjas betta get ready for me, y'all heard. Man, I can't
wait 'til I leave this hole, so I can put shhh back in place,
y'all dig. Ninjas wonder why I stress that I am the best.
That's all I can write for now. Til then, I'm out.
I From The Beat: We're waiting, too — for you to write something that has
I some greater meaning than this, to teach us something about who you
I are and what you want, to give us a sense that you have learned some
I things and don't want to repeat this experience. Yeah... we're waiting.
All Kinds Of Actinns
What's good with The Beat? Huhhh, it's all kinds of
"actions" in vocabulary, so I made a lil' rap like:
They say money is the motivation
But it my occupation
You thinkin' violation
You on some medication
It ain't no hesitation
It come with regulation
Thinkin' 'bout cancellation
Then it's extermination
You try some segregation
We losin' population
You copy that quotation
But ain't no imitation
You try impersonation
Then it's assassination
They trying operations
But ain't no revelations
So then it dedication
Time for yo' elevation
I call it renovation
Just like elimination
That end my presentation
No time for punctuation!
From The Beat: This inspires us to do a little rap of our own. VJstnna hear
it? Here it go: "You've got skills, as well you know/You can put words
together and make a flow/But skills alone don't guarantee/That you will
grow up and be free/That requires goals to set and goals to follow/So
that skillful words won't ring hollow/Of course, fame has come to some
imprisoned/But all such men wish they had listened/Instead, they chose I
to ignore the calls/And so they write from behind four thick walls! I
Gning To County Jail
'Sup Beat? What's good? Being in here is way better
than being in Log Cabin Ranch. Why? Because I'm not
catching any dead time. And I get to see my fam every day,
three calls a week, and all that stuff.
Anyways, I'm going to 850 right after my birthday. I'm
going to do seven months, go home without probation,
forget about group homes. And when I go back home, I'm
'bout to smack some stuff, kick it with my ninjas, be with
my fams, do it big, see what's good wit h the grapes an'
Hen'. So I'm glad that I'm going into 850, do my time and
From The Beat: You may be glad that you're going to the county to do
your time so that you're off paper when you get out, but we don't see
much planning for when that happens, and without planning, you're
allowing someone else to plan for you. Kicking it with the homies,
having sex with your girl, getting high — none of those things requires
any thought at all, and without thought, you won't be able to hold onto
the thing you want most right nov/ — freedom! Think of what you want
after you satisfy your need for self-gratification, and then think hard
about how to go about achieving those longei^term goals.
.-/rA/v#>^v mffwmmmj! ^/^/.^^ff
What's good with The Beat? Lil' Skippa holdin' it down.
But check it. I been in this thing for a minute, so I'm
pretty much on crew 80% of the time. I done seen some
One of the most dirtiest thing I done seen was
somebody decided to take a dump and throw it behind
the refrigerator. I wanted to slap the hell outta bruh.
But yeah, my cleanin' skills always seem to transfer
with me to the outs, so my room stay clean.
From The Beat: That's a pretty disgusting story! But when we waiic to
woric on these filthy streets, we're not that surprised. Human beings can
be the dirtiest animals on earth, when they want to be. But good for
you for keeping it clean in here and out there.
I would like to honorably dedicate this to my dead
homies, startin' off with Antwaniesha aka Nish. I first
met her in middle school at Martin Luther King. Next,
Marcus who I also went to the same school with. As well
as Berrell and Lil' Wagga, the block homie Big Ben. And
last but not least, Ming Lee aka The Legend.
I'm finna share a few stories about these people and
why I chose them. Antwaniesha because she was really
on her a game, goin' to college on the lil' college TV news.
And out of respect for her and her brother Chop and
cousin Boe, she wasn't even beefin' with nobody, just a
innocent female at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Marcus an Rell 'cause them was the homies, and e'ry
time I look at my yearbook, I see all three of them at least
Wagg 'cause I met him when I was like 12, and every
time he used to look at me funny. Then one day I asked
why he always looked at me like that, and he said 'cause
he thought I was messin' with his girl. But afta that, we
And Ming Lee, I met him through his lil' brother 'cause
we went to elementary school with each otha. Then he
was messin' with my fam, and I didn't even know 'til one
day he came to the house, and I was like, "Don't I know
you?" And he said yeah. My fam and his fam been close
and we didn't even know. But I miss him the most 'cause
he was like a brother to me.
From The Beat: We admire your desire to pay tribute to these fallen
friends. Do you think the reasons they have passed out of this world
are worth the loss? Do you ever thinic about how everyone is connected
to someone who loves them and mourns them sk% much sk% you loved and
mourn your own losses? Are you doing anything to change the odds
that one day, someone who loves you might be writing a similarly sad
and tragic remembrance of what you meant to them?
live I) The Gin!
Days and days I gotta watch my back, 24 hours, 7 days
a week! I have enemies that I have to worry about! I got
goons and family that got my back and that's going to ride
to the death! Some that I grew up with and would have my
back 'til the end, but when it come down to something
hard, they break down! Me, I got all my homies back until
they turn on me. That's when I break my word! We all we
From The Beat: We're tempted to say "grow up," because this sounds
like the games that children play without thought of consequences
— "cowboys and Indians," "good guys and bad guys." But the tragedy
is, so many boys your age will never grow up, never grow any older
than the moment that bullet ended everything for all time. Forget your
"enemies" for a moment, and thinic about the weeping mothers left
behind. What do they mean to you?
My Motivation Is My Fotore
Wha's up wit' it. Beat? This yo' girl. Angel, still in here. I
can't wait to get out. They sending me to Colorado. I been
here since January 2. I'm trying to hold my head up, but I
be getting frustrated sometimes. I'm being patient. That's
the only thing I can do. When I get out, I'ma try to stay
out. My motivation is my future.
From The Beat: Learning to be patient is a great skill that you'll need all
through your life. We know you want a better future than your past, so
just keep your eye% on the prize. Good luck!
I Need Sooie Sooi Oifltmeot
I'm disappointed I'm doin' bad. God, I need some soul
The judge turn me down every time I attend an
Listen to me, y'all do what's important
'Cause you will wanna do what's important
I realized that this is getting' old
I'm tired of bein' in here 'cause somebody told
Yeah, listen to me y'all, do what yo' told
Just listen... Put yo' ear to the streets
This here is another quick one for The Beat
From The Beat: This may be quick, but it's not shallow. We love the line
about needing soul ointment, and we wish we could provide it to you.
But really, you are the one who has to find that balm and apply it to
your soul. Each time you let yourself be put in a box for strangers to
tell you what to do, you'll find yourself more in need of that comforting
ointment. You will be leaving this place (if not sk% soon sk% you'd like),
and that's when you have to do your most serious thinking about what
you want in your life, and what plan you have for getting it. Unless you
do that step, you'll never find the balm you're looking for. I
The biggest disappointment is when I put the street life
in front of my family. I was selling dope, weed, powder, and
pills. I put money in front of my family, basically saying
forget tiiem. Even when I ran away from my group home,
my family had a house for me, and I chose the streets.
This Lil' Bra. I'm out. Holla.
From The Beat: Have you thought about why you put these other things
ahead of the family that loves you? If you don't think about the why,
then what will change when you get out of here? I
What's up? This Beat Within about fake people 'cause
it's certain people in this thing as we speak that don't got
no integrity, feel me.
Like on some otha shhh, the dude that got my mind
on this topic when he was in this unit he didn't have shhh
to say. Didn't even come out his room or eat except if staff
made him. Know he around people from places he cool
with, and think he the hardest ninja walkin', but for real,
if you ain't gone be yo'self 100%, what make you real?
I do me all day without a problem 'cause whateva
happen gone happen. But me, my life is too real for me to
be fake. And if you think I'm fake, let me know why you
think that. But everybody keep it real with yo'self.
From The Beat: Although we agree with your advice to be yourself,
we're not altogether %ute what that means. Is it possible that the dude
you describe who wanted to stay in his room was being true to himself
by staying away from perceived enemies (and avoiding trouble), or even
friends, when he wanted to ivork on his own issues in his oivn way?
Judging others is always a risky thing to do, so we don't know if he was
keeping it "real" or not.
^m j^-^jziMi^uitkJ^-^ Mwmj^mm ji j^ ///.¥// // ////// j^ / y m^m
Living The Doubie Life x
To me, ain't no such thing as living the double life. You
either in it or you ain't because you might get caught
slipping trying live that good life, then come to the 'hood
like everything sweet. So you either go live that good life
or that 'hood life.
From The Beat: This is a pretty disappointing piece, a lazy answer to a
more complicated question. Were you living the 'hood life or the good
life before you came in here? We're guess the hood life, but that didn't
keep you from slipping, did it? We want you to write more. We want
you to think more. We want you to show that you're moving from boy
to man. Where^ the evidence?
Not Tiiini(in' \
When I was out on the run, I was on my toes, getting'
my dough. You know, bobbin' and weavin', not thinkin'. I
wasn't Anna go down because I wasn't robbin' or bustin'
no gun. But I messed around and go town fa someone
else driven retarded. Now I'm here for 18 months.
From The Beat: There are a couple of things that we can't understand.
When you say "on the run," does that mean you had run from a program?
If so, then you really weren't thinicing, because sooner or later you
to read that you weren't robbing or shooting, but still, you put yourself
at risk, and now you have a long time to think.
MuGi) Love \
What's good with The Beat? This Ulala up in the weak
max unit waitin' to get the hell up outta here! But yeah,
I'm tired of this bs, watching my folks come visit me even
though I already told 'em it's a'ight, they don't have to
come. But still they insisted, and they always say, "It's '
easy for you to say." And it's true. Now I realize how hurt
So that's it for The Beat. And for my brahs, love y'all.
Keep ya head.
From The Beat: It seems like you are maturing enough to see that the
love you express for your family, that continues to sacrifice for you by
coming here to visit, has to be back up with action. If you stop hurting
them (by coming here), then you'll also stop hurting yourself. It% time.
Doubie Life \
I was working and going to school and picking up my lil'
sis when she got out. And after that I was outside doing
my thang. I was at home cleaning my room and mopping
From The Beat: You can give u% more than this, and un\e%% you do give u%
more, we won't bother to put it in The Beat. Start sharing your thinking,
and not just a couple of sentences that skim the surface. For example,
do you feel like you've let your sister down because you're not there to
pick her up? Do you see any connection between doing your "thang"
outside, and being here, inside? Does it matter to you that you've left
people behind who depended on you because other things were more
important? Is there any connect between the laziness that is reflected
in these two-sentence pieces and where you are in life?
What's up with The Beat? This that ninja Na-Na writin'
'bout what disappoint me. What disappoint me is when
I see one of them ninjas on the outs, and they be like,
"What's up wit' it, bra?" They be cool an' want to mess
wit' a ninja, but when you see ninjas in the halls, they
talk shhh through the windows, saying you a sucka-ass
ninja. That's what disappoint me a lot.
From The Beat: Well, we had to take out that "little somethin" you
added to this piece, 'cause it read too much like a threat. Is there .
Hoidin' It Down \
What's up with The Beat? This yo' boy Lee. Man, my PO
tryna send me hella far, but it's good. I'ma knock it out,
do my time, get back to the streets when I'm 18.
But my real name Sheldon, and I'm holdin' it down for
From The Beat: We had to take out your last sentence because there^
say you're going to "knock out" your time, that doesn't tell u% anything
about how you plan to u%e your time, and what you hope to do when
you get back to the street. You can give u% much more than this. Show
u% that you are thinking, and then share some of those thoughts. That's ■
what a Beat piece should be.
Deati) Before Disiionor \
Death and destruction
I'm going out bustin'
My guys stay cussin'
The 'hood what I shout out, then I go all out
Facing these demons every day I'm gone ball out
Why did I choose this life...
'Cause I needed a wife
So I proposed to the game, now I'm wit' it for life
Never snitch on a boy 'cause that just ain't right
You run and tell that man because you can
So I stay far away unless I'm playing my way
Mook with this poem, I'm gone for the day
From The Beat: If losing your freedom (for longer and longer time) is
not enough to make you think hard about what you're doing, then you
should visit a physical rehab, center some time and take a look at those
young men who thought, like you, that it was sk% simple sk% "live by
the gun, die by the gun." Instead, they are confined to wheelchairs;
they need Mi aide to wipe their sk%%\ they can't eat without assistance;
sometimes part of their brains are gone, and they can't talk. Since
nobody knows what life holds in the future (even if you think you
know), we hold out hope that you grow to see there is another way to
'Sup with The Beat, mane. Well, this that street ninja
aka Goof Troop livin' this max out life on the max unit.
Well, the way this ninja deals with his disappointment...
honestly, I take it out on others. Not on my fam bam but
on my enemies, maybe even on my girl. I try to handle
my anger when the shhh hit the fan, but it don't always
work that way. Sometimes people's feelings get hurt or
physical. I know its not good but I try.
From The Beat: We wonder, when you read this back, if even you sound
fair to yourself. You %sk^ you know it's not good, but is that good enough?
Have you ever tried to look carefully at this habit of yours, and to see
if there might be a more constructive (or, at least, less destructive) way
to handle your problems?
Planning To Cliange \
I was happy for my ninja whan he got out. Shhh, now I'm
trying to get the hell out. When I do get out — hopefully
soon — I ain't coming back to this hole, and I'ma try to
keep my ninjas from coming here.
Oh yeah, I hope I beat my 707 case. I plan to change
my ways when I'm on the outs. That's all I could say.
From The Beat: Write u% a piece that lays out all the ways you plan
to change when you get out of here. How will you keep yourself from
coming back. How will you keep your homies from coming here? Now,
that would make skn interesting piece.
What's good with The Beat? It's ya boy, Tha Dude,
located at the Ranch. I'm 'bout to spit how I feel this
incarceration shhh — it's useless. The system thinks
incarcerating people makes them want to change, but i
it doesn't do nothing but make the situation worse. The |
only way a man or woman will change, is if they really I
wanna change. But to keep it real, \
I can only speak for myself. I know that being locked
up don't change me or my mentality. It's more hopeless
than that — it's useless, because, well, I know that the
high person(s) lock people up for the money (because
everything in this world gotta do with tha currency, but
that's a whole different page and a different topic.) j
So it's useless for them to lock me up, because I'm go' I
keep doing me. This ain't my first time being locked, and I
it ain't go' be my last. As I'm writin' this letter, I've been '
down sixteen months, and the only thing being locked
up do to me is make me wanna step my game harder (I
think about things I might of did wrong in the situation
that got me locked and I get them down to perfection, but
nothing's perfect.) But I'm 'bout to leave it at this. Beat.
From The Beat: You could consider what you did wrong on the outs that
messed you up, got you arrested, sent to the hails and eventually to
the Ranch, and woric it out in your mind perfectly, so when you get out
you'll keep on doing whatever brought you into juvy, but next time you
won't, ideally, get caught. Or you might get busted your first time back
out, for some reason your imagination didn't foresee and deal with, and
get sent straight back to juvy, to state prison, or worse.
1 I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I '
/t was real I If mif fa^/t that
I Missed his hirthdatf.
Escape From The Halls
Man the hall is weak as hell! Max unit is weak as hell!
And for y'all who think I'm just complaining, forget y'all.
Damn, all these new halls and people escaping. They
say the high security, but there really not. So far, I got on
from the halls for a good five weeks, and some other cat j
got on from Hillcrest, the San Mateo hall. My opinion on
this is that it's only the beginning.
From The Beat: We don't know if you're right or wrong about your
prediction, but we think it's not the right focus for you. These places are
designed to incarcerate young people like you, and so your focus should
be on what you can do so that you aren't one of those young people.
The only sure way to escape the halls is not to come to them in the first
(or second, or third) place...
M) Bri Birtbdiy
What's up wit' it. Beat? Man, I'm mad as hell 'cause my
big bra birthday was last week and I missed it 'cause I
was locked up. I could've seen him on his birthday at my
family visit. But my PO cancelled it 'cause I was doing
bad in the unit.
It was really my fault that I missed his birthday 'cause
I knew he was coming from his home pass from ROP, but
I kept doing bad. That led to something not good and
my PO cancelled my family visit. So I'm sorry big bra, I
missed yo' 18th birthday.
From The Beat: We're sorry you messed up and missed your brother's
birthday. At least you are taking responsibility for this consequence. But
it proves (again) that when you make bad decisions, the consequences
affect not just you, but also the ones that you love.
Real And Fake
What's good with The Beat? It's ya boy, Yung Chink,
holdin' it down as the usual. Well, today's topic I am going
to spit and acknowledge y'all on are "real" and "fake"
A "real" ninja can only be a few thangs. Here is a couple.
1. Be real to your loyal thugs and family and never cross
2. Don't act selfish to your love ones, let everybody eat
and get they shine on.
3. Share the wealth.
4. Respect everybody in your circle the same.
5. Lead, never follow.
6. Never snitch.
Now a "fake" ninja can be a lot of things. So many thangs
I need more than one sheet of paper, but here is a couple
5. And a snitch.
Which category do you fall in? Me, well, you know I am a
"real" ninja and forever gon' be a "real" ninja. One thang
I didn't mention about a real ninja is I am independent,
forever and always. Fo' my fam and "real" thugs, stay true
and keep ya heads up. Ain't too many of us nowadays.
From The Beat: OK, now why don't you write more about yourself next
week? In what ways are you independent? How are you generous with
your loved ones? Who do you lead? Where do you lead them in ways
that will help them? How do you help anyone to get his/her shine on?
My cell phone story is I hate when my phone go dead. I
would be in a good conversation and my phone die on me. I
always lose my cell and have to get a new one. I be mad when
I lose all my numbers. I have a lot of pictures in my phone
and ring tones, so now I don't download a lot of songs and
I don't take a lot of pictures.
From The Beat: How would your day change if you just didn't have a cell
phone at all? Would things getter more difficult, or less?
Better Beat Covers
What's up. Beat Man? I'm writing to you today to talk
about these weak ass drawings in The Beat that y'all
have been publishing! Man, y'all publishing anything
nowadays. I'm tired of seeing these weak ass Chinese
characters and gay ass Spidermen up in The Beat. What
happened to the old Beat that used to publish them sick
ass prison drawings with deep meanings and shhh we can
relate to? The drawings nowadays seem like something
my lil' brother would draw. Y'all publishing stick figure
drawings now! Come on, man, step yo' game up. Beat!
Y'all need to get back in contact with Michael Orozco and
tell him to draw y'all some more pictures, but until then,
I ain't messin' with y'all! This yo' boy. Smoke, up at the
From The Beat: Well, you're home now, so we'll send you the latest
Beats that feature Orozco drawings again, as well as your writings. But
why are you dissing other draivings? You know we have all kinds of
illustrators who draw for The Beat, who create many different creatures
and characters. It^ too bad you never drew anything for The Beat while
you lAfere at the Ranch, so yve could have seen what you'd produce!
r/r A/v#>^v mmMHmm j^ / ^ ^
This Double Life
This life that I live confuses me.
I live this life
Like one day Fm a gang-banger living the bad life.
Then the next day
Fm living the good life playing my sports and wanting to
But then in my head,
It's telling me to live the bad life and that no one cares.
Do what the homies do, go out, use drugs, go party.
Do all the things you wanna' do.
But then on the other hand.
My mother crying, saying,
"Why, why do you choose this life?
It's just gonna be ruining your time."
I don't know what to do anymore, who do I choose to
My hommies or my mama?
It's pretty hard to choose,
please oh please, help me somebody.
I struggle everyday wondering what to do about this
Should I choose?
If I would, I think I would have to go with my life.
Would want to be famous, or get an education, or play
Living the good life.
That's my double life story of what's been
And never wanna go through again.
From The Beat: You need to ask yourself who's more important to you,
your mother or your "homies." Who wants to see you succeed and who
wants to just have a good time? You asic if you should choose, we think
that you have a right to choose what's going to make you happy. Be
brave and do what's right!
A Rap About Cliange
Since I was little my mom taught me to be good
But all my life I was raised in the hood
People raised wealthy ain't ever under stood
Change my life I use to wish I could
It's hard to stay focused with evil in your face
Every day of the week gang banging was the case
Who would have thought the d-homes where I'd end up?
But now I have a second chance, it that enough?
It is if I make it
I got a chance to change my life, and I'm not goin' to
I do believe in change and I'm not gonna fake it
If my hood says I've changed, I have for the better
Now I know there's more ways then one to get the
From The Beat: Ryan its one thing to say it and another to do it. As the
saying goes "talk is cheap" Follow your words and do just sk% you say.
You have a second chance, make that change to better your life.
My B-l-G Disappointment
My disappointment in my life is getting into the
I started out by fighting in school, and getting searched
and they ended up finding drugs.
I started with one year of probation, and they started
giving me drug tests. At first I was passing them all, and
then I started to not give a crap. It went to one dirty drug
test then two and more.
My probation was trying to help me but I wasn't
listening. Finally, she had enough and had an arrest
warrant for my arrest. I kind of was on the run, but I was
in my house so they could have picked me up any time
they wanted. Finally one day getting out of work around
noon, we got stopped by a cop and I said, "damn it, I'm
going to face the consequences now. "I told him my name
instead of a fake name, and now I'm here in this stupid
From The Beat: it sounds like you were starting to do well, but then sk%
you %sk^ you gave up. Face your consequences now; and get out of jail
and start doing right. Finish school, get a good job so you can do the
things you want, and not have to worry about being locked up.
Disappointed My Jodge
I disappointed Judge Zamora, I ran from treatment
foster care, and I disappointed her because I said I was
not going to run. For some reason I just could not stand
being away from my family.
I've been in and out of JDC for 2 years, and these
last years that went by I have not achieved anything. The
reason for that is because everybody was always trying to
help me but I did not want to help my self. The only way
is to get treatment; I think treatment will help me with my
drug addiction and this I think I need before it's too late.
From The Beat: One thing to remember, being aiway from your family
lAfhile in treatment is only a short term process. With in a few months
you'll be back with your family, but you have to want to make the
change. If not, you'll only end up back in the same place you are noiw.
Running gets you no where, because with time you'll have to face the
Tiie Painfui Dooiiie Life
When I start living the gang-life, I don't think I'm going
to stop the gang stuff.
But when I do a crime, it makes me sad.
I start thinking, "Why did I do that?"
But I get over it like in a day.
When I play football, it makes me happy.
And my auntie will say that at least I'm doing something good.
When I detail cars, it makes me happy.
From The Beat: You %x^ you don't think you'll stop the gang stuff, we
think that's your biggest mistake. You stated that you get over doing
a crime in a day. You don't have a conscience and that will send you
to prison one day. Do what makes you happy and keeps you out of
like playing football and detailing cars.
Living Tiie Donble Life
To me living a double life is playing football and being in
a gang, but I am not confused because I know what I am
going to do when I grow up. I am going to be a mechanic
and I'm going to be a good husband and a good father.
From The Beat: It's good that you know what you want to be when you
grow up, but statistics show that the longer your in a gang the more
chances you have of getting killed or put in prison. How will you be able
to live the life you want when you get locked up or at worst killed now
that you are living the double life of a gang member?
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
What's up Beat? This is going to be the last time I write
in the Beat. I'm leaving on Tuesday to the ranch.
I can't wait until I go to the ranch. I've been in here
for about three months. So I'm excited to leave because I
want to have an O-T so I can see my beautiful baby girl.
I'm going to miss writing in The Beat. I've been writing
in the Beat since I got here and now this is going to be the
last one I write. It's been fun talking to The Beat Within
staff too. They're really nice people. Well Beat, I'm going
to let you guys go. Goodbye! Take care!
From The Beat: And you take care. We're glad we could offer you a
chance to get things off your chest. You can write from wherever you
are, if you'd like to. Best!
Disappointing My Sister
What's up Beat? Today's topic is about disappointment.
The time that I disappointed someone was when I didn't
go to my little sisters fifth birthday party because I got
locked up. My whole family and my lady expected me to
be there. I disappointed everyone who was there, and I
wish I never got locked up. If I never got locked up, my
little sister would have her whole family there and it
would have been the happiest day for her. So that's all for
this topic. Until next time.
From The Beat: It^ hard to be the source of disappointment to one sk%
young sk% your little sister. How will you make it up to her? We hope the
answer includes the plan never to allow yourself to be taken from your
Last time I was disappointed was towards myself. Not
only did I disappoint myself but also my parents.
Last time I was out I was suppose to get my shhh
together but there I was out slippin' again.
Over and over I've told my parents I'm going to do
good and when I get out that's what I plan to do. I'm going
to stop causing them disappointment, and myself too.
Don't get me wrong - I'll still do what I do, and have my
ol' ways - but as for school and a job, I would work with
that. Alrato Beat.
From The Beat: Sorry, but you can't have it both ways. Your childish street
ways and the right way don't mix. If you want to stop disappointing
your parents, and yourself, then do the right thing and kiss the sinister
ways goodbye. Otherwise, we'll see you in the hall, until it's time for
county, and then....
First Time Writer
What's up all Beat readers and Beat Within people? This
is my first time writing to the Beat. I was locked up last
time, but got to APA (Alternative Placement Academy)
and now I'm back for a more serious crime. I didn't really
write the last time I was in here. This time I might write
more often. I also wrote some other ones maybe they will
get there under "Cisco".
Well, I'ma take it down in a bit so till next time much
love to my brother Javier and his lady and Mumbles and
to the familia.
From The Beat: We already read (edited) and commented on your very
long poem, so you already know how impressed we are with your
ivriting sicills. Now that we see this is your first time writing for u%, iwe
are even more impressed. But being impressed with your writing is not
the same sk% being impressed with your thinking. So we hope you share
some more of that with us, so we can understand where you are and
hoiAf you got there.
Wkei I Thiik I! toi
When I think of you I think about my life.
Will it be the same if you weren't by my side?
It's a question I ask myself
every time I think of you, and I'm fine.
It's like having you by my side.
When I think of you I think of my best friend,
something that completes the real me.
When I think of you is when I'm happy!
And that's why I love you!
From The Beat: Hey MG, we prefer not to print love letters. As we've said
many times, a love letter should be sent to the person you're writing
about. We'll print this one, but next time, send the letter directly to the
object of your affection.
One of my disappointments that I've had in life was when
I let my family down when I told them I wouldn't do what
I did to get in the hall last time. But I did it again, and I
found myself back in the hall.
This time my family was really disappointed in me.
They wouldn't even talk to me for a month, and now I
facing charges like assault on a peace officer and assault
with a deadly weapon. My mom won't even acknowledge
me in my visits. She won't even accept my apology. So I
sometimes wonder why she visits me.
Well, that's what disappointed me.
From The Beat: It sounds like you have been surprised by the personal
consequences you're now having to face for your actions, and not just
the system^ consequences. We can imagine how much it hurts you to
have your mother so disappointed in you that she can't accept your
apology, but can you imagine how much it hurts her to see you in here?
T^ust is a hard thing to earn, especially when you've broken promises in
the past. But it can be earned back over time if your words of apology
are accompanied by actions. If you make a promise to yourself not to
let your family down again — and if you keep that promise — you'll find
that you also won't be letting yourself down again.
Well Beat let me tell you something. I disappointed my
jefa (mom) and I disappointed myself. Because I was
looking for a job and I got the job but on that Saturday I
got arrested and now I'm here and in two weeks I'm leaving
to L.A. to start my time in Y.A. That's how I disappointed
everybody, even myself.
From The Beat: Sometimes, Victor, the biggest mistakes or
disappointments in our lives are the greatest lessons we learn. What
have you learned from this disappointment? Do you think you will do
anything differently once you leave Y.A.? We hope to continue hearing
from you once you leave. Make sure to tell us how you've changed.
A Bad Scene
What's crackin' Beat? Well today hasn't really been a
good day for me. First of all, I got an hour for some stupid
origami shhh that we couldn't have for giving attitude and
On top of that, a counselor came in trying to act like
he knows what I've been going thru when the reason I'm
here is because of him. Then after that, staff restrained
my best friend right in front of my face. They slammed
her in the window and I couldn't help her out. So far she's
cool, except that they broke her wrist.
From The Beat: It does sound like a very bad day. Things will get better.
We hope your friend^ wrist isn't broken. And we hope you're folding
cranes again, soon.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Always Here To Stay
What up Beat?
Well, today Fm going to write about living the everyday
daily life in the 'hood
Where the palm trees stay high and drink all day even
till the sun leaves the sky
In the' hood is were the females like to be kickin' it with
Black and gold is all they see
Also I can't forget the fact I can combine the homies
with the family
When I walk down the street what do I see,
Nothing but the enemy eying me
Seems like I can never get away
Please believe I'm still standing here through this very
Sippin' on tequila and Tangaray
Just know that I'm always here to stay
From The Beat: Even though you're in the hall/You write that you're still
standin' tall/So when you say that you're "always here to stay"/Do you
mean living free or locked aiAfay?/if all you think of is getting drunk
and getting high/Hoiv long ivill it be before you crash iwhen you fly?/
Without some changes, you risk a terrible find;/ That those females you
kick it with will be only in your mind!
RIP Jose M.
This song is dedicated to Jose Merales, Rest in Peace
with all my heart.
Aqui estoy thinking about you carnalito.
Every time you cross my mind tu sabes que me aguito.
I remember when we used to kick it and have a blast.
It's hard to believe that was back in the past.
I remember those times like it was yesterday.
If you're here and I was there it all be the same way.
I never thought we have to go through anything like this.
I just sit back and say Rest in Peace.
All the homies got your name tattooed
behind their backs, necks and some on their chest and
arms just to show respect.
Simon carnal you're in our mente all the time.
Tu eres primo, you will never stay behind. "Rest in
From The Beat: First of all, we are so sorry for your loss Rigoberto. It is
always so difficult to lose someone you love. It is clear from this piece
that you are still mourning your loss. Writing about it is a good way
to grieve and deal with your loss. Are there other things you can do
to help you deal? Jose is luclcy to have people who loved and still love
him so much.
From The Beat: Make sure that new stuff you're waiting for is good
stuff. You are a smart young woman. The only thing holding you back is
yourself. You make sure those partners of yours are up to good things.
Nothing less will do. We're expecting good things of you.
Cai'tWiit \ I
What it do with my peeps and The Beat? Me, I'm cool -
just waiting for something new to happen.
I was supposed to have court today, but I guess not. I
haven't had a visit, and no letter in a cool lil' minute.
I'm still stressing but not like last week. I miss my
patnas on the real. I can't wait to reunite with them. I
miss my grandma hella much.
I can't wait to get out. I'm going to do good when I get
out. The first thing I'm doing when I get out is go to my
I'm tired of this food. I want to slap some Lil' Wayne
up in here so bad. That's my favorite rapper off top. Well,
like Lil Wayne says: I'm stuntin' like my daddy.
There's this dude in my unit that says there's like 4 or 5
people in his head. Anyways, he attacks me one day. Then
someone else the next. So does that mean that "they"
ganged up and fought five against one, or was it one on
one? This is driving me nuts.
What does The Beat have to say about this question
because I feel bad about whoopin his ass, but if there
were five of him I'd feel better.
From The Beat: Depends on what kind of nuts you're talking about. We
prefer almonds or macadamias.
I'm Gone. Finally I'm Gnlng tn YA Alternative
Q-onda Beat ,it's your homie Smokey, saying these pocas
linias to say that next week I'm leaving. I'm going to YA
Alternative. I'm doing 18 months in Los Angeles and pues
next week I won't be here, so when you read this I will be
over there. So I'm leaving before Friday, so all, stay up. Oh
and pues simon Beat I'm gonna do my time. God Bless.
From The Beat: We are glad you're moving on Rigoberto. We have had
many pieces from you here at The Beat and we hope you continue
writing. We hope to hear from you!
The Day I Got My Scar
This is that homeboy Chuko, telling you about the day I
got my scar. I remember that day like it was yesterday.
My homeboy called me to pick him up at the mall,
later on we were at the park, and five cars filled with rival
gang members tried rushing us.
We were about twenty-plus deep and when they
rushed us, we ended up six-deep. They had weapons in
their hands like bottles and bats. We didn't have any
weapons on us. They ganged up on us and each one of us
had a few people on us. This guy threw a bat towards me
and landed on the floor. I picked it up, he pulled out a golf
club, and he swung at me and missed. Then he swung at
me again and hit my right hand and left me a scar that
was the day I got my scar.
From The Beat: That's how people lose their lives. It could have been
worse. You gotta learn to appreciate your life. If you don't take care
of it, no one will for you. Life is not a game and you are playing a
game that can bring tears and %skAne%% to your life and those who care
for you. Before it gets too difficult, get rid of this gangster life. Sxyie
yourself. There are many things in life to explore and to enjoy than
what you are playing. Think about it. Don't let another person write a
story about how you lost his life.
Living The Dnuble Life
Hey Beat! It's me, once again. Well, today's topic caught
my eye, and I wanna drop a couple of lines on it.
Well, I know how it is 'cause I lived a double life for a
minute. It kinda sucked because it kept leading me back
here. It's hard because you got to make so many choices
between your family and friends. I got sick of it, so I made
a choice for me. That choice was to change my life and be
a decent girl, like I'm suppose to be.
My life is somewhat better but I sometimes feel
myself go back to my old ways, and that's how I got back
here. I've got no excuses but all I got to do is keep myself
motivated to not slip again. So, yeah, I chose the decent
side because I don't want to die violently. I want to live a
happy life. Thanks Beat!
-Family or friends
From The Beat: You are welcome. We want you to live a happy life. Make
the right choices and you increase your chances, dramatically.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
I'm So Tired
rm so tired of coming back to the hall.
rm so tired of the food.
rm so tired of the drama.
rm so tired of waking up every morning and going to
sleep everyday at the same time.
Fm tired of seeing me fall into the same footsteps as all
Fm so tired of seeing the pain in my step-mom's eyes.
Fm so tired of the life I live, though I just don't seem to
change. Hopefully when I get out of the ranch I can start
And to all my loved ones... Stay up!
From The Beat: Hey, we're tired of the same old stuff, too. We want to
hear something exhilarating about you. if you want to change, you'll
change. You're not a robot, are you? You're made of flesh and blood,
aren't you? You have a brain, don't you? You can make decisions. No
one forces you to stay sk% you are. So get with it. You don't have to
become a saint overnight. But make a commitment to do something
good, something better, no matter how small it may seem, everyday.
Before long, you'll be able to look in the mirror and like what you see.
Get started, now.
I'm Out \
What's up Beat! I don't like the topics today, so Fll just
do my own thing. I'm leaving to the Ranch next week. Fve
been here for 10 months and Fm finally leaving. I guess
I got really lucky at first. I was looking at 10 years in
prison, then when witness was dropped I was looking at
a few years in CYA.
My PO and the D.A were pushing CYA, but my public
defender was fighting for Ranch and I guess I got it. I gotta
thank my public defender big time. He tried real hard to
fight for me in court. They also went easy on me because
I did well in here.
I had a light record in here, they never hear of me
getting into trouble (on the unit), and I was on supply
too. I didn't think all that shhh really made a difference in
court, but I guess not. I always see people in here showing
off that they got locked up numerous times.
I think it's stupid 'cause it means you got caught
numerous times. You should just play smart only stupid
people get locked up and the smart ones stay out.
Alright Fll end it here. Later.
From The Beat: We supposed that your behavior in juvenile really
helped. Life has given you another big chance to enjoy time of your
life. Well deserved!! It would be a shame if you waste this opportunity
after people fought so hard to reduce your time sentence. We hope
you do your ranch program and get back on track. Make a good thing
foryourself. We so appreciate all your thoughts this past year!
Disappointment In Me
I deal with disappointment by thinking about it.
When there is a situation that doesn't work my way,
my feelings are angry, sad, and mad. I get angry a lot. I
usually can't handle my anger in a good way. It usually
ends out bad.
A time I was disappointed was now. Fm disappointed
in myself because Fm in here, and I might be away for a
while. I know that when you're angry you can't run from
your problems. Now I really want to try my hardest to
control my anger. If I start to feel angry, I'm gonna take
a break. Hopefully, by then I'll feel better. If not, I'll do
something I enjoy to get my mind off my anger, before it
takes over and I do something I'll be disappointed about.
From The Beat: We have no advice for you. You've obviously been
thinking a lot about this. You're on the right track now. Don't give up.
I remember those days
Kicking back in the 'hood
When everything was going good
Nowadays things ain't the same
Think different and people change
As I get older I see
I caused my love ones only pain
Living this life, full of sin
Struggle to survive
Around these oF friends
Hoping to make it past the age of 25
Learned how to fight.
Caught slipping almost lost my own life
With that forty five
Decide to change my life
To dry my mama's eyes
From The Beat: Things changes throughout time and you should sk% well.
One day, you'll wake up and realize that the life you've been living is
fantasy, a fantasy that soon can be over if prevention is not applied. Be
careful with what you play with. If you really want to change, change
for yourself and those who love you. They don't deserve this from you.
living The Double Life
I had a homie that has a double life. When he kicked it
with the homies and when he wasn't with us. For example
he was going to take us to Wilcox to do something but
then he fiaked on us for his lady. And when he would chill
with us he would wear Cortez and Dickies but around his
lady he dressed punk rock.
From The Beat: It^ sometimes hard to understand why people do the
things they do. Why do you think your friend led this 'double life'? Why
do you think he didn't feel he could be who he really was and instead
had to be two different people when he was around his friends and
when he was around his girlfriend? Sometimes people pretend they're
someone they're not to fit in. Do you think this was the case with your I
Hey Beat, what cracking? Well I'm gonna talk about
Well I had a crazy dream two day ago. It was hella
scary 'cause I came back to my room, I fell asleep, and
into a deep sleep.
It was hella crazy 'cause at first I was dreaming, I was
dying and my homeboy Dopey was in m cell! I ask him if
I was dead. And he said look at your body, I looked and
said, "What! How did I die?" And he told me that I was in
I was like, "look G, I freaking hate life." I looked up,
you're dead and everyday I dream of you G!
And he told me, "You think I'm going crazy? Every
time I see you fight, I get mad! What do you know how
I feel? I'm dead. I have to put up with my mom crying
everyday 'cause I'm 6 feet deep. Man if my baby could just
see me and I could just hold him. Do you know what I
I told him back, "Do you know what I would do just
to be dead?" Well I got to go, but I'll more next time and
From The Beat: We would love to hear the ending part of your nightmare.
Did you see a scary movie right before going to sleep? Or were you
thinking about someone who's no longer in this life right before
sleeping? Stay away from negative things that can make a nightmare
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
I Love You
'X [ My Achievemeots - Beiog A Dad \
I know you're disappointed what all that I've done
You didn't leave, so I know you're the one
I've messed us up a couple of times
I know my stuffs always been on your mind
First it was the cheating, then all the lying
We both knew it was true but I always stay'd denying
It happened again a couple of times
But in the end I'm glad you're still mine
I've changed all of my ways; you know it's true
You know baby girl, that I love you
From The Beat: Your writing is very true, Nathan. You're iucicy your
significant other has stucic by you through all the difficult times both
of you have been through. I hope she reads this poem so that she can
icnow how much you care about her. If she can't or doesn't, please make
sure to tell her! We're also glad you've matured and developed sk% a
person to where you saw the error of your ways and was a big enough
person to admit it.
I've achieved many things in my life, things like staying
sober for a long time and I also achieved to live the age
17 without getting shot, but I got shot before. Well I also
achieved to make it out of middle school, but my thing is
to achieve is to make my family members happy. I have
to prove other people wrong that think that I ain't gonna
From the Beat: There are many more things that you need to think
about other than thinking if you got shot or not. What about high
school? College? Life is a test, be careful with failing. Stay out and
away from shot spots.
Today is a special day, because it's Vietnamese New
Years. I ain't feeling all that good because I'm suppose
to be home with the family, celebrating with the friends,
going to places, spending lots of money, gambling, but
I'm stuck in the hall celebrating by myself.
Now I know not to do bad, so I can be out next year
and celebrate. So I'm out for now Happy New Years. Late.
From The Beat: Keep yourself out of here, not just for this next go
round, but for good. Happy Vietnamese New Years anyway! Make that
promise to yourself to live life right! U
Gettiig liti Ttinis
I have many achievements I have completed. There are
many minor problems I have achieved. But there was
one that was a big trip for me. It was to stop getting into
things. Sounds easy but trust me it's not. I tried so hard
and failed a lot.
I had it once. I was doing well, good in school, and
staying out of trouble. I was doing it for my family and for
myself, so I can stay out free. One thing occurred that I
did not commit. I ended in this horrible place.
I felt it was all for nothing, but though again I was
actually trying hard to complete and achieve. It sucks
to be here for something I did not do. It's all good I will
achieve and complete my goal because that's a life time
From The Beat: You'll recover from this collapse. You knoiw iwhat
though, even though you're in this situation, you still keep the spirit
of completing all your goals and achieving many other things. Don't
give up on. Let this experience teach you a good lesson. If you want to
stay out, stay away from those places or people who can get you into
trouble. Simple sk% that! What are your plans upon your release?
Well this is your boy Mikie, coming to you from San Jose.
Well I'm locked down doing time, but I ain't tripping.
Well I'm gonna talk about my achievements. Well I've
never achieved anything, but I think I only achieve one
and that was my son. He is the best achievement that I've
achieved 'cause I've always wanted a son and now I've got
I've never done shhh in my life. I mess up all the time.
Now I've started to shoot somewhere and I did.
Now I'm gonna get out, go back to school, then college
and work to support my kid. I ain't gonna be like my pops
and leave my son alone with his mom. I ain't got nothing
else to say, so your boy is out.
I sit back and think about all the pain we caused just
cause I was a homeboy down for the hood. Now I got to do
my time, so I could do good for my son and be there for
that lil' guy. I see him every week and I hope I could get
out soon, so I could be the right dad. Well just want to
say to everyone to stay up and I'll be out soon much Love
From The Beat: You wanted a son? Now you got it. Now he wants a dad?
Can you give him that? Having a kid is a huge responsibility. We hop<
you take your words seriously for the good of your son. Good luck!
Things Running Tiirough My Mind^ \
So many things be running through my mind.
I be counting the bricks on my wall,
trying to pass the time,
days of my life for a two-minute crime.
I'm a stick up kid if I see it it's mine.
I should of listened to my mama
but it flew out my car,
can't stand to hear my mama sob
or see her drop a tear
Caged with other gang bangers I can't show no fear.
I 'm never one-step ahead seems like I'm stuck in flrst
From The Beat: What can it take so switch to second and third and last
gear? What's holding you back? What's preventing your from moving on?
This is the life you chose to live. You can change it at anytime you need
it. T>y to switch to second gear and let's see what can happen. You won't
loose anything by trying. Make your mom proud!
What's up Beat! It's Trouble. I am going to bust a flow. It
is short but good advice for people.
When you feel like your going to cry, just keep looking
to the sky.
When it feels like your life is a big lie, just keep strong
and problems will be gone. Don't worry, somebody will
always be by your side,
just look up and pray Jesus Christ.
If people are putting you down, just get up off the
stand on your feet and show people you ain't a sissy,
have no fear and shed no tears, and stand strong
throughout the years.
Sometimes you wish it would rain. Just keep your head
high 'till the day you die.
From The Beat: Thank you for your advice! Is this ivhat you do ivhen
you feel depressed? What about moving on with your life? Is all about
just praying and keeping your head high? Or is there more than that?
What? We need help.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Damn! Now that I'ln locked up. I miss my baby mama
mucho(a lot). She don't even know she might be six years
older than me but I love her hella. I would love her and
make her something to eat. Damn! I hope I get out soon
Well I just want to let everybody know that I love my
baby mama. Baby girl my one and only. I'm not scared to
show that I love my baby mama, my one and only. The one
that I love forever, late.
From The Beat: Love is always a beautiful thing but incarceration is no
environment for love to grow. If you really have love for your girl next
time you come home you'll keep a low profile and not get in trouble so
you can spend sk% much time sk% you iwant iwith her and your baby who
needs a father in his/her life.
I'n Giina Di It!
I'm going do it like Easy-E.
I'm gonna make money it's gonna be a mystery.
I got the detectives with their magnify glass looking for
my finger prints.
I do it like that and I stay on my toes and they trying to
bring me low.
From The Beat: Staying on your toes is having the law not looking
for your toes at all. If the law is looking for your fingerprints with a
magnifying glass eventually he who seeks should find.
Well, today I want to write about love ones and life. I'm a
18 year old and I am graduating in April. I'm planning to
go to college.
Well I been locked up for 5 months and got 2 more to
go. I miss my mom, my little sister, my older sister and
most I miss is my ex-girl. The reality is that I'm in here so
I have to deal with it. I wish I can go back but I can't.
From The Beat: Good plans! We hope you make it to college, stn
university, a good career and a good family. Everything is possible.
Don't give up. There are people waiting for you outside. Don't make
them wait too long.
I am \
I am disappointed that I'm in here about to do 6-8 and
that I still got a long time to do. But it is cool. Well
going to be out. So later.
From The Beat: Yeah, you will but what are you going to do to stay out
the next time to escape that disappointment? We hope you don't take
your freedom for granted when you get out. Get out and enjoy your
What's cracking Beat? This is your homie Lil' Man
coming from the city of San Jose. Well I ai'nt feeling these
topics so I'm going to write about the homie Nathan.
He passed away a week ago and I found out that he
was with the homie White boy. We were tripping out.
Well to the homie rest in peace and you will always be
remembered and I'll see you pretty soon. Alrato.
From The Beat: We're sorry to hear about your friend Nathan in a sincere
way and we send ours. But you should not be in a hurry to die because
you think the homie Nathan is in a hurry to see you or vise versa? How
you show the homie Nathan respect is by learning from his mistakes
and living to do right.
What's up everyone? I just want to let you people know
one part of my family that I love a lot besides my mom and
dad. One of them is my brother Cisco up in the other unit
with my primo Paul. I miss and love the shhh out of both
of them they are my partners.
The other part is this one fine sexy lady of mine and
her name is Rebecca. I just want to say that I love you a
lot and I will always love you. And will wait for you till the
end. She is like my best friend. But she's my lady.
Well I just wanted to say what's up and stay up and I
love you guys. I'm missing you people. Lots of love.
From The Beat: We're pretty sure that they are missing you too. You can't
keep coming back to jail forever. Don't you have any goals? Wouldn't you
rather be at your pad chilling with your brother and primo? Wouldn't
you rather be chilling with that fine lady of yours? All your gonna be
chilling with in there, is a bunch of smelly dudes.
Never Gning Tn Stnp
What's up Beat? This is your homeboy Sleepy. Well this
is about me not ever going to stop smoking or drinking.
And I'm never going to stop gang banging. But I'm always
going to be there for my family.
I know it's really sad. But I got to do what I have to do
most of all my family gangbangs. I already chose the life I
Maybe one day I'll go to school or maybe do good, but
I know I need to take care of family too. Well that's all I
From The Beat: Can't never stop putting in the hard work and doing
what you know you have to do to better yourself for your family. When
a man lives for his family he learns the true definition of ivhat it means
to be a man, yet you are not much of a help once you hit the pinta.
we hope with maturity you see a better way, and you break the cycl<
r i« "
What's good Beat this your homeboy Sleepy from Santa
Clara. Well I'm going to talk about family. My family is
very important. I wish I could have been better to them
and be good and be respectful to them. And show them a
good time and be with them.
Well if anybody reads this, do good and stay out of
this place. Don't never come back to juvenile and show
your family more respect, alrato.
From The Beat: Jail is always a place to reflect. It's sk% if the real you came
out sitting in a hell cell when you know you deserve better. Remember
you words when you touchdown and you'll be like a lifesaver to a dying
What up Beat, I didn't choose any of the topics, sorry!
I'm talkin' 'bout how my life is. My life is cool. I got
locked up with my homie Nemo. When me and my homie
are on my block with the homies, we get pull over and get
searched all the time because I'm straight up Chicano. He
knows what I'm talking bout huh, bro?
Well now that I'm locked up I don't get harassed like
I use to. Well bro. Nemo stay up! I love you bro, see you
when you get out. Stay up I love you bro late!
From The Beat: There's no future in your front. Wanting to be too
overexposed will get you a sunburned. If you want to be looked at sk%
cool stay in school, Chicano or not, there is no excuse for being the
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Which life Do I Chiose
I gave my life to the hood,
Running the streets always up to no good.
Always sippin' liquor from my cup,
And always getting locked up.
But I got a family and a girl.
And to me they mean the world.
They want me to live a better life.
And I want my girl to become my wife.
I try to do good in school.
And just play it cool.
But the streets keep calling.
And I keep fallin'
Back into the trap.
Each time I do I find it harder to come back.
But I'll always be down for my homies.
They were always there for me.
And I'll never turn my back
And that's a fact.
I miss my girl, but I gave my homies my word.
I'm so confused.
I don't know what to do.
Please come and save me lord.
From The Beat: If you can't figure out which is more deserving of your
time and energy - your child and your girl and your family, or, a group of
guys up to no good - then you just keep hanging out with the homies.
You watch from a distance while your child grows up confused and
disappointed and without a father. Your choice, T. Oh, and don't be
asking for someone to %9iMe you. You should know by now that you have
to %skMe yourself. You're the only one who can do it. (You'll find plenty
of folks to help you, but you have to do the heavy lifting. After all, it^
Wake Up Call
I never thought I would be in juvenile hall. First you're
out there living life to the fullest but your living it a little
too much. Then you end up gettin' locked up. Now you're
living life being told what to do, ordering you around.
People say be thankful for what you got because it
could disappear like that. I guess that didn't really matter
to when me and the homies were getting drunk. But after
it hit me sittin' in my cell that I wasn't thankful for my
freedom and now it disappeared. Now I sit here waiting
to get cut so that I can change everything around and be
From The Beat: The most valuable things in life are often the ones we've
had all along, and we take them for granted until they're gone. When
you say that you were "living life a little too much", it sounds like you
felt entitled to your freedom, regardless of your decisions. You %xy you
can't wait until you get out to change things, but why wait until you get
out? What can you change today in terms of your attitude, your habits
and your goals?
Life is really hard sometimes and sometimes people mess
up and it gets even more harder on people. Sometimes
people use weed to relax them cause life gets really hard
or some people drink but all that shhh messes you up.
It's just going to mess up your life and your going to be a
bum out on the street. Well that's all I got Beat.
From The Beat: You're right. There's no way to escape pain. Sometimes
you just have to roll with the flow and understand life has its ups and
downs but nothing never %t«y% the same.
My mom was disappointed in me 'cause I had no self-
esteem. Whenever I get mad I just go off skating.
Now I'm in here because of my actions. I don't know
why I did it, but I turned myself in and now I'm just in
here because I want to get rid of my sins. Now when I
leave the unit I smell the wind.
From The Beat: It seems sk% if your caught somewhere between right and
wrong. You want to do right because you know that^ what's your mom
expect of you, but you have to think better of yourself to do right.
What's good Beat? This is your homeboy Sleepy from
Well we need to get out of this messed up place and
be good and don't run from the ranch or camp. Don't get
locked up. Stay out and remember God comes first, family
next and homeboy next. Well that all I got, much love and
From The Beat: That^ the words of a real homeboy. It shows that you
really care and that your love isn't water base. Don't ever let no one
steal the chemistry y'all share.
Today I went to court hoping to get released, but my PO
didn't recommend anything. I'm 18 and I being charged
with a 707b offense (strong armed robbery), which is a
strike. My lawyer doesn't want me to take it, so I'm going
to trial. I need two of the four witnesses to testify on my
behalf in order to get my charges dropped to an accessory.
So, I got trial on March 20. If my witnesses don't testify,
then I'm going to just plead guilty and get it over with,
cause I ain't got time to be wastin' with my life. Well that's
-Yung Sha T.
From The Beat: It seems like this situation has really gotten you down,
but you know what you have to do. Your dedication to going back to
your life will get you there. Stay positive and believe in your advocates I
and those that want the best for you. Ask questions!!! I
Mi Vida Lica
Q-vole Beat? Today I'm going to write about my crazy
life. I've been kicking it with the homies since I was 11
I never grew up in a loving environment, so I had to go
out and find love from other people. So I started kicking it
with the homies and found a family that showed me love.
I grow up with them and lived in their hood, but when
I was a young teen - I moved to Estrella Street. I have
been living there for five years and I guess I can manage
for now. I hella miss the environment and the people, of
course, the homies.
Now that I'm 18, I kind of miss that I grow up so fast.
But life goes on.
Well, I should be taking my CAHSEE this week I'm
worried but I know that I will pass it, so will my brother.
Well, I'm out of here in three months.
To all: keep your head up. Oh and I found love from
From The Beat: Growing up too fast is something to be kind of sad
about. But you can always go back to the innocent days of youth by not
hanging out on the streets and going sober. Maybe that will make you
feel like a kid again.
r/r A/^/#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Trying To Get Out
What's good? This is Sleepy from Santa Clara. Well, Fm
getting out April 17, 2008. I have hall time right now. It's
hella whack. I wish I could get out and be out with my
family and be good to them and show them respect. I wish
one could be with the hood, every one be good and stay
From The Beat: You'll have your chance to get out just don't waste it.
Most of you guys always talic about getting out and wanting to show
respect to your family but then you forget all about that once you walk
right out those Juvenile hall doors. We hope that you don't forget and
really show your parents how much you love them and respect them.
Ni DDUtle lite lir Me
What up. Beat?
Well, I don't think I live a double life. You can say I
act different when I am with my homies than with my
family. Because when I'm with my family I am sober and I
don't talk as much - I just chill and watch T.V and maybe
smoke cigarettes, but when I'm with my homies, I will be
high, drunk, laughing and just chilling.
I do get drunk with my mom once in a while like on
holy days, or I drink when I'm with my dad but I got to
sneak it in my room and get drunk and then I can go out
and have a good time.
From The Beat: Hmmm, even though you say you don't have a double
life, it kind of sounds like you do. One good question to ask yourself
is if you are a totally different person when you are high/drunk versus
when you are sober. Most people are different around their family and
their friends, but just keep tabs that it isn't a radical difference.
You think you're hard?
But you can't act real.
You can't act real
'cause you think you're hard?
It doesn't matter what you are,
or what you think you are.
If you can't act real or hard
in front of you family and your homies,
you are nothing, a fake, a phony.
From The Beat: This is funn^. Where do you think you fall into this
spectrum: are you a fake or a phony or a real homie?
What's Next For Me?
Hey, what's good? It's been pretty stressful in here for
the fifth time in twelve months. This time my PO and
judge are just running down time until I turn 18, which
is on April 9th.
I didn't even do anything. I was locked up for my own
safety because I have no place to live.
I was supposed to be working at the DMV and
everything, but it's all good 'cause on the 11th, I'm going
to take two more of my GED tests. I passed one already.
Plus, I just finished my college applications for the
summer and the fall.
Well anyways, when I get out I just know I'm going to
be making mine. Well, to all that are going to be here for
a while - stay up and it'll get better. To the guys trying to
talk in the hallways - thanks for getting me in trouble.
From The Beat: It must be interesting to be locked up just because of
your safety. You mentioned that you were excited but worried about
getting out. It seems like you really have your life together, so just be
confident that you will be able to take care of yourself.
I choose this topic for many reasons because I know I
disappointed my sister by ending up back in here. I should
have listened to my sister because she's the only one that
showed me so much more love than my own mom. She
put a roof over my head when I didn't have anywhere else
to go. I thank God for my sister cause without her I would
of ended up just like my mom, or worse.
I'm hurting inside 'cause I know that I make her cry
every night 'cause I'm her baby sister, and she truly cares
a lot about me. I put more stress on her, which I should
not 'cause, she has enough stress already. If I continue to
go down the path that I'm going, I think that maybe she
would just say "you know what I can't take it anymore." I
just feel like she'll give up on me like everybody else that
was in my life. I don't know what I would do without my
sister in my life. 'Till next time Beat.
-Lil' Shawty Vivian
From The Beat: Awareness is sometimes the first step into change, it
seems like you know that losing your temper and messing up will hurt
your sister, so maybe you will think about that next time. Keep youi
head up, Vivian!
Well, this is the homeboy Shrek from San Jose. Well,
I just found out that my little cousin passed away not
too long ago and it hurt me to know that 'cause he was
younger than me. My mom had twins and I wasn't able to
go see them.
My Tia Huera is having a baby and my Tia Nish is
having another one I heard.
My cousin Savage is locked up and my cousin Laura
is locked up too. It sucks 'cause I'm having a baby too and
I'm not getting out until December or in the beginning of
And to my cousins Savage and Laura: keep your heads
up and I'll be praying for you guys. Don't trip off me! I'll
be out soon enough. To all, do your time and stay strong,
they can't keep us down. When you get out this time, stay
From The Beat: It sounds like you should take your own advice about
staying out, especially because you are realizing how much life goes on
when you are locked up - births and deaths. Don't keep yourself down
forever!! Wake up now!
f I II i ! I i I i IT
\ \ II
I don't get this double life topic, so I'm going to be real.
I live one life which involves gangbanging, but I'm not
looking forward to prison. I'm trying to do good, get a job
and make something of myself being a banger is just in
my heart but I want to do good which can be done without
a doubt. This G bird is out. Stay up.
From The Beat: If you are not looking forward to prison, why are you
heading in that direction? Wake up and fly away.
I ^ d
What's good Beat it's ya boy Young Cash. I just want to
say thank you for letting me express myself for all these
years. But it's time for me to go. I'm 18 now, so that
means you won't be able to see me anymore. Farewell
Beat. You know I'm gone, do it for the last time before I
From the Beat: We'll miss your voice. Cash. You always seem to find
something to express in a truly honest way. All the best on the outs.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Dear The Beat
Why don't people accept my religion? I have the right
to worship Satan as much as anyone else, right? Tell me
how you feel?
From The Beat: Worship whoever you want to worship,
your choices. Do you really care what others thinic?
Be smart about
Fm going to tell you another tale but it's not no fairytale.
I would sell drugs for my mom. We lived with some Pisa
- it was their house. We rented out a room - it was hella
small. Me, my mom, her boyfriend and three little siblings
were living there. And we did not have a lot of food because
we would always eat it all the time. But then one time
some fool snitched my mom out, so it was me and my
three siblings. I took care of them, sold more drugs, paid
rent, got some food for my little siblings. Then me and my
mom's boyfriend saved some money and got my mom out.
Then one day I saw the guy that snitched my mom out,
and beat that fool up. Well, I got to go, stop snitching.
From The Beat: This non-fairytale is really powerful, about how you and
your mother took care of your family through illegal activities. Again,
you seem proud of the violence - can you see any other v/siyl
Triubltd and Ciilusel
I think the court is troubled and confused, especially
my probation officer because they don't understand when
they see a changed person. I know now that I'm glad for
my choices, but being in here for a crime I didn't do makes
me want to do the crime or wish I did. But now I'm glad
I've done everything I've done in my life. I don't regret any
of it because I wouldn't be who I am today. But as they
say, life's a bummer, then you die.
From The Beat: The system - when it's wrong - can certainly turn people
into angry criminals. But instead of inspiring you to a life of crime,
maybe you should become a lawyer and fix the problems so it doesn't
happen to anyone else.
Me and You
Me and you forever long,
even though you were always gone.
Why wouldn't you stay with me?
I would always be so sadfuUy.
Now that we've found each other
I couldn't love her more than my mother.
I felt like a fool,
'cause she treats me so cruel.
I only had eyes for her,
but who does she have eyes for?
I have lost her one more time
and now she's forever gone,
she is somewhere near to me,
but how would I talk to her?
I guess when I get out,
and wait 'till she gets out.
I miss her.
I hope they put this in The Beat,
so she could see this lil' note.
Alrato I'm out.
From The Beat: This poem sounds like you have been longing for
someone from far away for a long time. Love combined with doubt can
be really painful in the heart, but it sounds like you care for this person.
Writing is a good way to express this feeling.
What's up Beat? Today I'm gonna talk about my leaving
to the Ranch. I'm hella happy I'm gonna be leaving in five
Damn, I'm just kind of sad though because I got
people here that I'm gonna miss, you know, but damn I
just gotta go.
I've been here since December 11th just doing hella
dead time. There's one specific person I'm gonna miss
that's in here. I gave it up to him and now I really care
about him a lot and I got feelings for him, too. I think I
kind of love him, but damn it's crazy though. I had found
out at a program that he was going to have a daughter.
That really hurt me because I really cared about him, but
I guess I will just have to wait to talk to him to tell him
how I really feel about him. But if you're reading this baby
- 1 love you and I really care about you even though we're
not together. I'm thinking bout you 24/7. Be cool and stay
up, baby boy. To all, much love and respect to all
From The Beat: it is hard to find out someone we really care about is
going through something so profound like having a child with another
person, but the best thing is to keep jealousy in check and work to be
honest to your true emotions.
When I am out I think I live two lives. Every morning I wake
up I go to school. But after school I would act hella different.
In school I wouldn't smoke but when out of school I smoke
and drink. Now that I am locked up I look back at my life and
now I think I should have quit doing drugs 'cause they really
broke my life and it also broke up my family.
From The Beat: In some ways, we all lead multiple lives. We behave
differently depending on who we interact with. As you say, you are one
person when in school and listening to your teachers. You are another
person when with your homies and quite another at the dinner table. It
seems then that one source of your troubles has to do with the company
you keep. Could your incarceration have been avoided by avoiding the I
negative influences in your life? Let us know. I
My Serioos Case
What's with it Beat? I just got locked up for puUin' a lick
with my ninja. I went to court and they said I might get six
months hall time or YA and do four years. But it's a 50-50
chance for either one,. But I'm fighting for hall time and
I might get it 'cause I'm 18 and they ain't sending people
to YA in this county unless you got a real case, but my
case is just first degree robbery so I ain't trippin'. Just
gonna do my time and get out in the fall, like September.
You feel me?
I been messing up lately, 'cause I got in like two
fights and I been here less than two weeks. I'm too old
to be gettin' into fights in the hall. I mean, if somebody
disrespect me off top, but fo' dumb shhh? I'm good. You
can see me on the outs, you feel me? Plus it don't help
my case, and it only last up to 15 to 20 sec. before staff get
on you mean, ya dig? But forget the dumb shhh though,
I gotta say what's good to D-man. Hey bra, do good
when you get out -maintain that playa composer. Just
gotta get this daycare time over, you feel. So I'm out one
time, one love D, an fo' the record I changed the name but
the style the same, ya dig?
From The Beat: It sounds like you know that getting into fights when
locked up isn't a smart thing, but how do you keep yourself cool? And
you sound like you're really looking forward to getting back out on the
streets, but what changes are you thinking about out there?
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Q-vole Beat. This is your homie Chato from San Jose.
I am gonna write some lines about stressing out. These
days I been stressing a lot for my lady because she's
pregnant, she's 9 months already, and I can't talk to her.
I wish I could be with her these special moments, 'cause
I really care for my girl and I love her with all my heart.
But the good thing is that I'll be out in 20 days to be with
So if you vatos got a firme jaina get straight and don't
do bad choices so you won't end up in here stressing
Well this vato is outta time alratos.
From The Beat: Being away from the ones you love can be really hard.
So do what you can now to make your time with them sk% good sk%
possible. We wish you and your girl the best.
I'm back in the hall
Eye red from tears brewin'
Getting ready to fall
Once again I stack
With my back against
Facing time for a crime
That I never committed.
All the girls I came with
The time they had to split
Gone here and there
Fe-fe don't have
Because the change
Yes, I admit I have a double life 'cause when I am with
my friends it is a whole different lifestyle, 'cause I really
try to impress my friends. I don't know why but I do. But
when I am with my family I try to be an angel, 'cause my
mom thinks I'm a good kid so I be actin' like that. I mean,
I have love for my friends and I know they got love for me
but I know it's my friends who are the ones that got me
in here, but if it weren't for my friends I would be out and
doing good in school.
From The Beat: It's easy to put the blame on our friends, but what about
you? Can't you be a certain way and still hang around certain friends.
We're not saying it's easy, but we hear so many of you blaming your
friends that it seems a bit unfair.
A Beat Disappointment
What up beat? Today I'm not feeling the topics so I want
to say that I'm disappointed because I haven't seen any
of my pieces for months now. I would like to know what's
going on because I don't even see that much Santa Clara
County. Well Beat this Duke is out. Late.
From The Beat: If you do not see much of Sstntsk Clara in The Beat, ask
someone on the unit to point it out to you, given Sstntsk Clara dominates
From The Beat: It's a very good sign that this is your first instinct. The
mark of maturity is to find the good in the worst situation and to be
ready to turn tragedy into learning. Sitting in that cell here looks to be l
your moment of maturity. In this desire, this %skAne%%, this memory, this \
drive, the change is there.
Wtit I Think Itoit
What's crackin' Beat? Me just chilling up in the unit,
well I'm feeling really good in the inside because my time
is going by fast. The staff here are very coo' we do lots
of activities such as play football, basketball, volleyball,
indoor soccer, and many more. I love it. At first I thought
that m£ix was the best but when I came to this unit it was
coo as hell. I mean the staff really try to help you out.
Some people think that they're weak, but I think that
they're wrong. If you act like a kid they're going to treat
you like one. But if you do what you got to do and take
care of business it's all good. But don't get me wrong, I
still miss max. Well what I'm trying to say is there are
kids here that are 18 but don't act like they are. There are
kids that are 17 and act older.
All I'm trying to say is take care of business in the unit
and everything will be coo and just worry about yourself
and most likely get as many things that you can from the
program. Do your thing and get out and stay out.
From The Beat: You make a good point. Maturity is not a time of life
but a state of mind and action. I hope sk% many people sk% possible read
and heed your advice.
Disappointment, A Big Word
Wow. Disappointment. That's a big word and well my life
is made up of disappointment. My whole life I have done
nothing but disappoint my family and loved ones. But
at the same time I have had someone I love very much
But I'm sick of making my family and loved ones cry
for my stupidity. I'm done with all the wrong decisions.
I'm going to start to go the right way in my life. I want to
stay alive and see what I got ahead of me. And for the one
that disappointed me I tried to help her but she never
learned so I made the right decision and left her.
From The Beat: There is a strong %en%e of maturity in this piece. Thank
you for your honesty about disappointment. How can you follow up
with your passionate statements about going the right way in life? We
hope you keep growing and that you continue to strive to make the
Everywhere I am I skate. I skateboarded for the first
time when I was 1 and never stopped. I can honestly
thank skateboarding for getting me active and healthy,
for providing me with a creative outlet, and though I
found and abused drugs, it kept me away from the hard
ones for a long time. Yes, it got me in a little trouble
here and there but I think all young boys are meant to be
rowdy, on or off a skate. And that's what I have to write
The majority of adults hate on skateboarding, and the
majority of kids love it. Skater = Jock in a lot of ways
in today's society. I mean, popular TV shows, billion
dollar industry, massive infiuence in teenage style, and
of course teeny bop skate star Ryan Sheckler. But that
doesn't matter. I don't really care about this shhh. I
just felt like ending a page of writing with some stupid
apathetic statement. Really I just wanted to say apathetic
in a sentence!
From The Beat: You have a point. Adults tend to overlook skateboarding
sk% a sport, skn art, and a passion. Like most passions, it^ rarely going to
make a career, but it helps to train the body and mind, and can be your
creative outlet. Ride «w«y.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrnjUM, /-////
Disappointment in Me
Well I have disappointed my mom. I know I've done many
things to make her mad, but it's whatever. I love my mom.
I know that when I get out we will have movie fests like we
used to. I miss her. Well alrato. Late.
From The Beat: We appreciate the fact that you recognize that you have
disappointed one of the most important people in your life. But why is
it "whatever"? What can you do to not upset her sk% much? We hope you
will be able to have many movie fests in the near future.
My tattoo of choice would be a contradiction between
light and darkness. So you can notice the difference of
dark and light. Something so abstract that you have to
feel it. Why would you be the dark and why would you be
From The Beat: These are very intriguing words. The tattoo sounds
fascinating and thoughtful. Do you have any other thoughts on how
light conflicts with darkness? How does the figurative light and
darkness play a part in your life?
I kind of live the double life 'cause I could be very nice
and generous and I could be very respectful and have a lot
of manners when I want, but at the same time I could be
mean and cruel and very disrespectful. That's why I could
have a double-life sometimes.
From The Beat: With the knowledge that you live a double-life, can you
tell u% if you think this is a good thing? When can living a double-life
be a positive thing? When can it be a negative? We thank you for your
honesty and hope you understand that all of u%, at one time or another,
live the so-called double life.
The things I've heen through made
me the waif I am, I've heen IlKe
this forever and If OM people want
me to change Just IlKe that,
The disappointment is like pain, when people go insane.
But yet even though people have disappointment we're
trying to maintain.
They put us in a lonely room with our brain killing
itself, crazy thought of how we really felt. Having no
mail brings you down, so you're just chilling at your
room laying down, then wicked thoughts snap in your
head telling you to stop crying and make people feel your
pain, not trying to show your roommate the tears that are
falling off your eyes, feeling the fear. But no one can help
you, not even yourself, everyone sees you and they think
you're a thief, talking to someone you don't feel no relief.
But 'till next time I let you know on these things.
From The Beat: Sometimes everything seems to be haunting you, no
matter how many people you talk to or times you check for mail. Don't
be afraid to let it out, and let your process take over. Be sad, ye%, but
try to channel that into a better future.
Tattoos Removed And Added
If I were to get one of my tattoos taken off it would be
the tatt on my side of California. I would rather get it
professionally done. If I could get any tatt I wanted right
now it would be of a collage of a certain place that no
one will ever find. And I'd like to finish the two tatts that
represent my parents.
From The Beat: The tattoo of the collage sounds really interesting. What
kind of place would that be? Where would it be? In the woods? On a
beach somewhere? Maybe you could expand on this thought and talk
about where you want to go to be by yourself. Thanks for the cool
Just a Dream
Sometimes I dream about a life where we're strong.
Where we don't have to fight no more and get along
No use in crying no more pain to carry on
It's just a dream so I live and hold on.
From The Beat: This is a short but sweet rhyme. We can tell you have a
talent for expressing yourself through your words. Keep writing!
Changing life is a hard thing to do for me because I've
grown up a different lifestyle than others, I've seen things
others never seen before. The things I've been through
made me the way I am. I've been like this forever and you
people want me to change just like that. I don't know
'bout that, but I'll try my best and my hardest to change
my bad habits. I know I'm going to have to change for the
better, and for my family. But that's all I got to talk about
for now Beat. Talk to you next time, late.
From The Beat: You're right. You can't change everything instantly just
by waving a wand. But you also seem to recognize that that doesn't
mean you can't try. Life tends not to break to anyone, but it bends at
each push, and with each try you can make your life a little bit better,
and a little bit more how you want it.
Disappoifltment in Tiie Hnmie
The only time I was disappointed was when my homie
was lying to my lady that I was hitting on some girls while
I was in school. And when she found out she went crazy
and I started laughing 'cause I thought she was playing
so she slapped me back to my senses, and when she was
talking to me I knew my homies were up to this because
they did not want to see us together so I told her the truth
on what was happening and I apologized to her and we
made up so this is it for my case of disappointments.
From The Beat: Those you trust the most are often the first to disappoint.
T^y to trust anyway, just sk% your girl has trusted your explanation,
that you have a chance to live without constant disappointment.
I'd rather choose the life of gangbanging 'cause that's
how I'm gonna live for the rest of my life. And I end up
going to the (pinta) like my Brother that is now doing
sixteen to life for armed robbery. And I pray I would go
to the same prison in Chino, 'cause as a young gangs ta
I didn't have any role models, just young gangsters who
From The Beat: This is so pathetic, that all you have is gang banging to
hold onto. How old are you? Are there really no other options? Please.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrniamff ^ // /
What Makes Me Angry, Interview
The Beat: What makes you angry?
Albert: Life. Half the people in the world are racist. People
think I'm a savage. I'm part Spanish, part Mexican, part
Portuguese- and I'm happy with it.
The Beat: What do racists do that affects you?
Albert: they say I'm a Beaver, a dirty Mexican- that I won't
be good for anything.
The Beat: How do you cope with that?
Albert: I try to ignore it but sometimes I can't. I get into
difficult situations where I do things I wish I hadn't done-
afterwards- when I think about it.
The Beat: What is your advice about how to handle
Albert: Walk away, try to ignore it. If you don't, you'll pay
a heavy price for it- loneliness and being away from your
From The Beat: It is a tragedy that racism still exists in the world.
Your cultural background is something to be very proud of. People who
ridicule you because of your race are doing so out of anger about their
own troubled circumstances. You skte right to walk away; to realize that
their words are not based on truth. Being able to be with the ones you
love is well worth ignoring ignorant comments.
I am so sad because my dad and my brother got stabbed.
I'm mad- 1 feel like hurting someone but that is going to
get me into trouble. I've learned to just let it go because
it's never going to stop. It is like I'm a psycho- I hurt
them and they are going to hurt me too. They were my
friends but they are now my enemies because I stopped
gangbanging. They will go for your loved ones- it is so
From The Beat: We are so sorry to hear about your dad and your brother.
It is very normal to feel angry in your situation, but you know that
hurting other people in retaliation is not the answer. It only csku%e%
more pain and more trouble. We applaud your tough- and wise- decision
to get out of the gang life. Talk with your counselors about help in
protecting your loved ones.
My heart aches.
No one's answering, no one's there.
I crossed the border to hell.
Bruises on my mind.
No chance to get out of the hall.
'I'm dancing with the devil.'
My desire is to be free.
My future is in my hands and on my mind.
The DA is making me go down like gravity.
I hunger for freedom. It's what I seek.
From The Beat: We've heard that the devil has great rhythm. Is that
Hdw I Handle M) Anier
What's up Beat? The way I handle my anger is to just
start punching my punching bag, or sometimes I just
have to take it out on someone else. The only way I'll get
mad is if someone disrespects me. Respect is a big word
for me. That's all for today, lates.
From The Beat: Punching bag - OK. Using a human being for a punching
bag - not OK. We knoiv you know that. Make this your mantra: living
creatures are not punching bages... living beings are not punching bags...
living beings are not punching bags... Got it?
I love you-
your tender touch
but every night
hasn't been alright
without you here
near, my dear.
My heart cries
and my eyes sigh,
my body aches,
my head shakes.
I need you
so I can go through
all the rough roads
they are going to set in front of you.
Just know that I am here
to hold you dear.
When I get out
don't' even hold out
because I am your man.
I am never going to be shady
'cause you're my baby.
Just always know
I will always be waiting
for that day you'll arrive
by my side
to make it better,
so you better remember
I am still waiting
'cause I'll do anything
From the Beat: It is difficult, no doubt, to be away from loved ones while
serving your time. It can be a source of strength when those people
are supportive and painful if they decide to move in other directions.
T^y to remember that your true strength is found within yourself. Your
relationships with others will be stronger once you are on your own
The Anger Interview
The Beat: How do you deal with your anger?
Ronnie: I can't. If someone looks at me wrong I'll sock
him because he's making me angry.
The Beat: Why can't you just walk away?
Ronnie: It will make me look like a little girl and a
The Beat: So what? What happens if you beat that person
up because you want to save face?
Ronnie: I get locked up, and locked up again... for longer.
I don't care.
The Beat: Do you want to learn to control your anger?
What could motivate you to not loose your temper... for
better or worse?
Ronnie: If I could control my anger I could stay out of
here. I'd rather be at home kicking it with my friends.
The Beat: What are ways that you can think of to do
Ronnie: Maybe when I start to get angry I can think about
my girlfriend or my mom and remember how much I want
to stay with them. I can't think more about how to say
From the Beat: Controlling our anger can be a difficult thing, but
something we must learn to do in order to lead a healthy life- a free
life- and to avoid causing harm to other people. Think about what you
have to loose by getting in trouble because of your temper, and what
you have to gain by staying out of trouble- mostly the ability to be with
your loved ones. Your counselors can help you with way to deal with
anger constructively, it is worth it.
r/r A/v#>^v mmwrniamff ^ // /
Control The Mad
When I am disappointed I usually get mad or frustrated
and easily annoyed. I punch shhh. But I'm trying to
change how I react to people and situations.
From The Beat: Good.
Cleanino Up For The Coonty Rather Thao \^
For Yo' Mama
Well, the only reason that I clean right here in the hall is
so that I will have more time out of my room and I won't
be stuck there all alone. There are benefits like getting
to buy stuff from the store. But, don't get me wrong, I
do clean for my mom, all the time, and I keep my room
So, If I were The Beat, I wouldn't just go around
assuming that we convicts don't clean after ourselves in
From The Beat: No offence intended. We're glad you're a tidy fellow and
that you help your mom.
let Me Out
I want to get out but they won't let me.
I want to walk around but they won't let me.
I want to talk freely but they won't let me.
So what do I do?
Just get out.
But to get out. . . what to do?
I don't know, it's so confusing.
I can't even think sometimes.
I hate this place.
I hate most of the people here.
I hate this place, and I hate this place.
Let me out.
I'm bored, I'm bored.
From The Beat: Sometimes even negative motivation can serve to move
u% in a positive direction. We are sorry to hear that you are so unhappy
with your current situation. Use those feelings to motivate you to do
what^ necessary to get out- and to stay out of the system. You can walk
and talic and do whatever you want once you are living a life within the
law. It is worth it.
Someone approaches to say
his life is aching, he's in pain.
There is no answer-
borderline, life, or death.
The bruises will never heal.
There is no chance.
He's dancing, in the future,
but gravity pulls him back into hunger.
From The Beat: Cool poem, Shane. We suspect you know this, but it's a
neat trick to learn how to dance with gravity. The fall is easier.
Iflterview with Aoswer
The Beat: How long have you been here?
Answer: Since December.
The Beat: So, in all that time, what have you learned about
Answer: I've learned that I can take a lot of crap and
put up with it for a long time. I've learned that I want an
education in everything, especially in cultural history.
The Beat: What's the most interesting piece of cultural
history you've learned?
Answer: From the Aztec Empire- the last ruler of the
empire was named Quactemo . He was willing to fight with
his soldiers. He went into battle against the Spaniards.
Other rulers were greedy. But he was out there for the
betterment of his people.
The Beat: Are there any leaders today who remind you of
Answer: Cesar Chavez. He was out for his people but in
a different era, a different age.
The Beat: What would you like to be asked?
Answer: I'd like to be asked my opinion of the juvenile
justice system. If I were I would say that a lot of times
they set kids up for failure. For instance- when they sent
me to a group home, I protested and said it would be a
bad idea. I told them if I went there, it would be all bad.
They didn't believe me. It was bad because of where it was
located. I'd rather not say why.
The Beat: Any final thoughts?
Answer: I'm bored. I thought the interview was going to
be more fun.
From The Beat: OK - next time write your own 'interesting' piece.
.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^
Mi Vidi Sin In Ceinlir
Yo les voy a contar sobre mi vida sin un celular. Cuando
estaba alia afuera, tenia mi cellular. La verdad es que
lo necesitaba para comunicarme con mi familia, pero
especialmente con mi novia.
Recuerdo que aveces por estar hablando y textiando me
salio muy caro el bill del telefono. Tuve que esperarme y no
lo pude pagar. Me salio de 300 dolares y eso es muy caro.
Luego andaba pidiendo prestado el telefono de mis amigos
aveces cambiaba billetes en coras para hablar atravez del
Recuerdo que un dia que me habia quedado de ver con
mi novia en las gradas de la playa. Tenia que salirme de la
escuela par air a verla, pero no podia Uamarme porque no
tenia telefono. Agarre coras y le Uame desde un telefono
publico. Cuando contestaba ella, no me podia oir, la Uame de
nuevo por otro telefono y fue la unica forma para hablar con
ella. Al fin nos vimos.
From The Beat: Lo bueno que ese dia pudistes ver a tu novia skunt\ue
hayas tendido complicaciones. Tienes que buscar la forma como
cuidar el estado de cuenta de tu telefono. Tienes que ser un poco mas
considerable con quien lo pague. El o ella debe trabajar duro para pagar
eso. Y eso no es justo!
My Life Without A Celi Phones
I'm going to write about my life without a cell phone. When
1 was on the outs, I had a cell phone. Truth is that I needed
it to communicate myself with my family and especially my
I remember talking and texting so much, the cell phone
bill was very high. I had to wait for long time, because I
couldn't pay it. It was 30 dollars and that's very expensive.
Later I was asking my friends to use theirs and changing
dollar bills for quarters to use the public phones.
I remember one day I was supposed to meet my girl by the
beach. I had to leave school to see her, but she couldn't call
me because I didn't have a cell phone. When she answered,
she couldn't, I called her again through a different phone and
I finally got to talk to her.
-Lil' Snoopy, San Francisco
From The Beat: Good thing was that you made it to see your girl without
any more conflicts. You have to find a way to manage the cost of your
monthly bill. You have to be more considerable with whoever pays it. He
or she might work so hard to pay that. Think of them. That's not right!
Ya No Fomare Eo La Caile
Yo fumo mucha mota en mi casa y en la calle. Fumo todas
las noche como mi homies. En las noches, fumo para
poder dormirme. Sin la mota yo no puedo dormir. Ya no
voy a fumar en la calle para no volver a la juvenile. Esto ya
no me gusta y no me ha gustado. A mi me gusta la mota.
From The Beat: Deberias de buscar la manera como no fumar del todo.
Lo que estas haciendo no te llebara a nada bueno. No hay mejor cosa
como disfrutar las maravilla de la vida sobrio y sano. Si de verdad
piensas que no puedes dajarlo, deberias de buscar ayuda profesional.
Hay programas para jovenes que te pueden ayudar.
I Wofl't Snioi(e Ofl The Streets
I smoke a lot of weed in my house and at home. I smoke
every night with my friend. At night, I smoke to be able to
sleep because without it, I can't sleep.
I'm not going to smoke anymore so I won't end up in
here again. I don't like it here and I never liked it. I like
-Lir Ba, San Francisco
From The Beat: Find a way to stop smoking. What you are doing won't
take you anywhere. There isn't such a thing than enjoying life clean
and sober. If you don't have the will power to quit, you should ask for
professional help. There are programs for youth that can help you.
Si cuando uno no tiene un telefono, no puede comunicarse
con su madre, con su hermanos y sus amigos. Cuando
yo venia para aca, venia aburrido en el bus porque no
traia telefono. Una vez lo traia y se me cayo. Venia bien
aguitado. Despues estaba quitandolo prestado.
Yo me sentia bien raro porque no pude comunicarme
con el quien me iba a recoger en la estacion de los buses.
Tuve que quitar prestado y gracias a Dios me lo prestaron.
Se siente bien feo pedir prestado el telefono despues de
From The Beat: La verdad es que es muy importante la comunicacion
atravez del telefono. Lo bueno es que llegastes aqui sin ningun
problema. Cuidate amigo y te deseamos que cuides tu telefono al igual
que a ti mismo.
When someone doesn't have a phone, you can't
communicate with your mother, brothers and friends.
When I was on my way here, I was very bored, because I
didn't have a phone. I was carry one once and I lost it. I
was very sad. Later, I was asking to use other's phones.
I would feel very afraid because I couldn't communicate
myself the one who was going to pick me up at the bus
station. I had to ask someone to use his phone and thank
God, they lent it to me. It feels very embarrassing to ask
someone to use his phone after having one.
-Denis, San Francisco
From The Beat: The truth is that it is very important the phone
communication. Good thing was that you made without anymore
complications. Take care my friend and we hope you take care of your
next cell phones as well as yourself.
Solo Un Milagro De Dios
Soy una persona normal como todos. Estoy aqui por
tercera vez en esta lugar. Ya he estado en este lugar, pero
nunca me habia sentido tan mal. No me importa nada
porque voy a salir de este lugar.
Dios me va a ayudar en mi cambio porque El es el
linico que me puede ayudar. Una noche sofiaba que solo
un milagro de Dios puede ayudar. Yo le prometi a Dios
que no a hacer lo mismo. Asi como yo puedo cambiar asi
tambien ustedes pueden.
Yo quiero a una muchacha y voy a ser papa. Voy a
hacer un efuerzo a cambiar. Si tii confias en Dios, todo se
puede. Animos Catrachos!
From The Beat: Esperamos que llegues a cumplir esa promeza. Acuerdate
que ya has venido varias veces y seria una pena que terminaras aqui
otra vez. Sigue en el camino de Dios y ponle mucha mente a Sus palabras
para que seas una persona mejor en la vida.
Dnly A God Miracie
I am a normal person like others. I'm here for the third
time in this place. I've been here in this place before, but
I never felt bad. I don't care though because I'm going to
get out from this place.
God will help me in my changing because He is the
only one that can help. I promise to God that I won't do
the same. The way I can change, you can also change.
I love a girl and I'm going to be a father. I'm going to
make an effort to change. If you have faith in God, He can
do it all for you.
-Anonimo, San Francisco
From The Beat: We hope you keep that promise. Remember that you've
been here a few times and it would be ashame if you end up here again.
Keep yourself in Godls road and make an effort in following His words.
.-/rA/v#>^v mmM/wmM^M /^
La Ultima Vez
La ultima vez que limpie el bafio de mi casa fue en el
2007. A mi aqui si me gusta limpiar porque me gusta
estar afuera y no estar encerrado en el cuarto. En otra
parte, lo hago porque me ponen y no porque quiera. La
neta es lo hago porque me gusta.
Yo vivo una doble vida porque en las mafianas me
la paso en la calle. Me gusta divertirme, salir a bailar,
a pasear con la novia que tambien se divierta con mis
amigos. La verdad es que no me gusta estar aburrido
porque me sofoco. Les doy gracias por escucharme y
Cuando tenia un celular era muy desesperante porque
queria ver a mi novia. Tenia que esperar a que me Uamara
para hablar con ella.
From The Beat: En vez de andar en la calle deberias de buscar la manera
como hacer algo positive en tu vida, algo que te Hebe a un buen tnsknsknsk.
Esa doble vida que llevas te llebara al mismo lugar donde te encuetras
en este mismo momento. Hay manera como divertirse, pero la manera
que has buscado no es la que te conviene. Busca como ayudar a tu
familia en la casa como lo haces en este lugar.
The Last Time
The last time I cleaned the bathroom of my house was
in 2007. I like to clean because I like to be out and not
locked up in a room. On the other hand, I do it because
they make me and not because I want to. Truth is that I
do it because I like it.
I live a double life because in the morning I like to
spend it on the outs. I like to have fun, go dancing, go out
with my girl and have fun with my friends. Truth is that I
don't like to be bored because I get desperate. I thank you
for listening and understanding me.
When I had a cell phone, I was desperate because I
wanted to see my girl. I had to wait for her to call me to be
able to talk to her.
-Juan, San Francisco
From The Beat: Instead of being on the streets, you should find the way
to do something positive for your life, something that can take you to
a better tomorrow. That double life will only take you to the same place
wfhere you are right now. There are ways to have fun, but the way you
have searched for won't benefit you at all. T>y to help your family at
home like you do here.
Yo cuando me siento solo me pongo a pensar en mi
familia en cuanto me quieren y que mi mama me esta
esperando. Deseo verla. La quiero.
Deseo salir para cambiar mi vida y ser alguien. Quiero
que mi familia se sienta orguUoso de mi y de lo que hago.
Cuando saiga de aqui, voy a cambiar mi vida. Que Dios me
From The Beat: Esperamos que tus palabras %eskn sinceras. Afuera tienes
persona que esperan que tus palabras se hagan realidad. Sino quieres
hacer un cambio por ti, hazio por aquellos quienes quieren lo mejor
When I Think
When I feel alone, I think about my family, I think about
how much they love me and that my mom is waiting for
me. I wish to see her. I love her.
I wish to get out to change my life and be somebody. I
want my family to feel proud of me, and the things I'll do.
When I get out of here, Fm going to change my life. God
-Juan, San Francisco
From The Beat: We hope your words to be honest. On the outs, there
are people who expect those words you are writing to become a reality.
If you don't want to change for yourself, think about those who want
the best for you.
Pensamientos De Los Temas
La verdad es yo asiaba mi casa. La ultima vez que lo hice
fue un dia antes de que me agarraran. A mi si me gusta
ser asiado. Aqui encerrado soy asiado no por fuerza sino
lo tengo que hacer.
La verdad a es que a mi me gusta vivir la doble vida.
Me gusta andar en la calle bagando, divirtiendome con
mis amigos, con mi novia, salir a Paris a comer.
La verdad es que me Uega el football y divertirme con
mis amigos jugando football.
Quisiera decirle que cuando estoy desesperado, me
gusta relajarme para que no me peguen ancias de Uegar
a algo mas. Me gusta pensar en mi madre cuando estoy
desesperado para relajarme. Tambien me gusta hablar con
ella y estar con mis amigos para relajarme y divertirme.
From The Beat: Nos parece bien que pienses en hacer algo diferente
cuando tengas ancias de hacer algo que te pueda meter en problemas
lastimar a alguien. Piensa en tu madre no solo cuando vayas a hacer
algo sino a todo momento.
My Thouohts Ahout The Topics
The truth is that I used to clean my house. The last time
1 did it was when a day before I got locked up. I'm clean
when I'm here locked up, but not because I'm being
forced. I just like it.
Truth is that I like to live the double life. I like to be
on the streets kicking it, having fun with my friends, girl,
and to go to Paris to eat.
I like football and like to have fun playing football
with my friends.
I would like to tell you that when I'm desperate, I like
to relax so I won't get the desire of doing something wrong.
I like to think about my mother when I'm desperate to
relcix. I also like to talk to her and be with my friends to
relax and have fun.
-Francisco, San Francisco
From The Beat: It's a good think to think about doing something positive
when you get the temptations of doing something that will get you in
trouble or hurt others. Think about your mother not just before doing
something, but at all times.
rm me... no one else but me. If you were to ask me to
describe myself, I would say this: I'm Latino, I'm tall,
black hair... That's how I would describe how I look.
But if you want to know me, this is what I have to say:
I'm sixteen, I like going to school, my life's ambition is to
graduate from college, stay alive, have a family of my own,
want kids, a beautiful, loving wife, a good-paying job, my
parents and relatives.
One of the things I want most is respect. I want to
know who my birth parents are. I love to hang out with
friends, but there are two things I want to know. In here,
why have I've been betrayed and when am I getting out?
I'm confused and hurt.
From The Beat: The one thing we know is that you can reach the goals
you have set for yourself, and that respect comes with reaching those
goals. We don't know what led you here, but if you did the things you're
charged with doing, then nobody but you betrayed yourself. (No one
can snitch on you if you haven't done anything to be snitched on.)
Being confused is all part of being human, especially at your age, so
don't let confusion be a reason not to continue to achieve. If finding
your birth parents is important to you, then we hope you achieve that
too, but it^ the life that springs from getting a good education — which
you have set down sk% a goal — that makes all the rest possible. Thank
you for this piece.
I Regret Never Listening
There were many times when people tried to reach me
and tried to keep me out of trouble, but for some odd
reason I would never listen to them, even though I knew
that what they were telling me was true and they were
really trying to help me out. I am tired of coming in and
out of jail, and it's moments like this where I regret not
listening to those people who tried to help me. But,
hey, people make mistakes and nobody is perfect, and
hopefully this time I will learn from my mistakes.
From The Beat: Of course people — all people — make mistakes. But those
mistakes don't have to define their entire lives, and we admire you for
committing yourself not to let your mistakes define you and your future.
We hope you think hard about why you never listened to those who had
your best interests at heart, because un\e%% you understand that, you
may again fail to listen, even to yourself. "Hopefully" is not enough to
keep you from making the same mistakes. Beyond hope, you have to
make a plan, one step at a time. Without that, others will be deciding
what that plan looks like, and you don't want that to happen.
Sometiilng Needs To Be Done
I believe everyone needs to change something. No one is
perfect! For me, though, I believe a lot of things need to
be done, like learning to make the right decision and be
stronger when it comes to peer pressure.
Anyone can change, but it's up to that person to do it.
Don't be held back from what you're capable of and take
care of your problems now, before it's too late. Getting
things "done" can mean a few things, like finishing your
homework or saying no to drugs. But it's not that easy,
as most of us know, so just look upon yourself and know
you control your fate.
From The Beat: We agree with every word in this piece, Mejia. You're
right, it^ not easy to do the things you know are right, so you have
to be careful with every step you take. But when you examine where
you are, and what lies ahead without the changes you know you need
to make, that's not esksy, either. What is the most important help you
could u%e to succeed in doing what you want? What are the obstacles
in your way?
wr^/ ' f^ff/^
Fillini In The Blaiks
You wouldn't believe how many times I've heard, "You're
a screw up, and always will be!" or you might have. Either
way, the bottom line is I might be, but I won't always be
one. I've had teachers tell me, "Give up! You're a failure."
I've had my mom's ex-boyfriend tell me how bad of a jerk I
was, on a daily basis. I've even had my mom tell me once
how bad I've messed both her life and mine before.
But you know what? I don't care any more. I have
done a lot of bad things in my life and I may have ruined
it, but I'm going to change and prove everybody wrong. I
will do something in my life and be somebody. I may be
incarcerated for six to eight more months, but when I get
released, things will change. I can do it and I will, so don't
call me a failure, because it's not true.
From The Beat: Just by writing this, you have shown that you are no
failure. Change begins in the mind, and what you've written tells u%
that it is not something you have to wait for until you get out, because
it^ already happening. Adults (especially parents and teachers) who tell
children that they will always be failures are, themselves, failing in
their own responsibilities, so we greatly admire you for not crediting
what they tell you. It is obvious that you have a good brain, and the
determination to u%e it. Don't let the world define you. You have not
ruined your life, but only made mistakes, sk% we all have. Follow through
on your promise to continue to make the changes you know you need to
make for a future you know you want to have.
Mom, I am sorry
What I make you go through
All the lying
You deserve better
Now I'm locked up
An' all I do is think
Now I see from your eyes
You have done so much for me
And I'm thankful
I love you
From The Beat: Of course, your mom will cry when she reads this poem
(and you must show it to her). But they will be tears of happiness, and
she deserves nothing less. Don't forget all that you've said when you
walk out of here and are able to make your own decisions again.
W/// ' f^ff/^
Hopelessness Leads To Dropping Dot
What makes kids drop out of school is sometimes the
people that they hang out with in the streets. Sometimes
people are more interested in getting money, girls,
everything, instead of wasting their time at school,
when they are already missing a lot of credits or feel like
school is hopeless for them. Then, when you are trying
to get money anyway, people get locked up and waste a
lot of time in the hall, and then they really feel like it's
hopeless, so maybe they will just work towards getting
their GED or not.
Sure, people have plans on getting right back to the
hustle on the streets, because maybe a year wasn't shhh
for them. Also, people stop going to school because some
people have a lot of problems with their family, girl, legal
problems, and just want to stay on the streets. Also,
people just get lost in drugs and alcohol and start getting
into that and they might stay in school, but in the end
they don't have enough credits to graduate, so they just
drop out and keep doing drugs and get locked up.
For some people, being incarcerated helps them get
back on track, but I know for a lot of us, if we spend too
much time in and out, we just work on getting towards
your GED. I haven't thought of dropping out yet, but if
I keep coming in and out of here, I'm forced to get my
GED instead of nothing. I'm trying to make this my last
time coming in here and make my parents proud and
From The Beat: Thank you, Josue, for talcing this topic seriously and
writing so well about it. it's obvious to u% that you have taken your
schooling seriously, too, because you are able to think and to express
yourself well. What is the hardest thing for you about staying out? What
would help you the most to truly make this the last time. Graduating
from school is not just a way to make your parents proud (although
it certainly will make them proud), it's also a way to make you proud
of yourself, and to give yourself the best preparation you need for a
successful future, and one lived in freedom.
In my little corner of the world
Violence and pain
In a crowd, yet lonely
Try to rise above
But held back by those who say they care
The past haunts me
But not my own choice
My honesty is bad
My lies are believed
I accept myself, my faults, my strengths
My weaknesses, my feelings
My achievements are overlooked
My failures glamorized
I know nothing
I'm not responsible
A disappointment is what I'm made to be
Loneliness is my best friend
Dreaming is my desire
My little corner of the world
From The Beat: When you avoid the kinds of gang references you know
we can't put in The Beat, you are so, so good! There is so much in this
poem that we wish we could sit with you for your explanation. Why
do you "know nothing?" Why are you "not responsible?" What are your
strengths and weaknesses, your failures and achievements? When we
read a poem of this subtlety, all we want is more.
I Siioold Have Gone To Soliooi
One day I woke up and decided to stop going to school
I just wasn't feeling it any more; it just wasn't cool
I needed my sleep, my life, my friends
The ones who forgot about me towards the end
And now I'm staring at four white walls
Wondering how I'm gonna make it through all my falls
School just wasn't for me
Now I'm bored and lonely
Trying so hard to keep my head up
But life keeps crashing down; it's so tough
Shoulda gone to school that day
'Cause now I'm locked up and there's nothing else to say
From The Beat: The only thing we can disagree ivith in this poem is
your last line, "there's nothing else to %x^." Oh, ^e%, there is much more
to %«y. \V% one thing to regret the choice you made to quit school, but
that isn't the end of it. That is a decision that can be turned around,
and should be. You are young, but even old people who never finished
school finds ways to go back and do it... if that's what they want to do.
One difference between children and adults is that adults think about
the future, not just the present, and that means they often have to
do things they "aren't feeling" because they want something better to
happen, something they are feeling. So don't just accept your choice,
make new ones. Get your education; it^ the key to a better future.
/ did want to go to school, hut at the
middle of the tfear, It got ho ting, and I de-
cided to cut class most of the time.
Back in freshman year, I thought high school was going
to be an interesting place to be. Most of the people that
I know that have dropped out (including me) have most
likely quit school because they don't care or it means
nothing to them/me. All I would care about is money.
My junior year I got a job, and I was gettin' my money
and buying whatever I want with it. So then, when my
senior year came through, I did want to go to school, but
at the middle of the year, it got boring, and I decided to
cut class most of the time.
While I was cutting class, we used to go to the "spot,"
(Sequoia Station under Long's Drugs, to be exact.) We
burned 8s most of the time and when lunch arrived, go
back to class and just chill in class. Most of the time
class would pass by fast when you're blasted. At 3:10 pm,
get out of school and go and smoke some more grapes
and eat pupusas in the Salvadorian taco truck. After
eating, play some soccer and enjoy the rest of the night
with another blunt. The day after, not go to school until
brunch time (9:40 a.m.) After brunch, go smoke again and
do the same thing over and over again.
That's my drop out story.
From The Beat: This is a POW, not because we admire the way you
approached your schooling, but because you've been very honest and
taken the topic seriously. How do you thing your approach to school
might affect your future? is it also possible that by not taking school
seriously, you contributed to putting yourself here in the box? How will
you deal with other things in life that are not to your liking or boring
(a job, for example, which can be very boring), or other problems you
might face? it seems to us that the problem is you were looking at
school the way a child might — if i don't like it, i won't do it — without
thinking of how it will affect you as stn adult. You're writing is very
mature, so we wonder if you've changed your view of dropping out.
Do you plan to pursue your education when you're out? We sure hope
so, because there is a world of knowledge to learn about, and you are
capable of so much!
amam// • r/r/et/
''/?TCHM/?D M^D/7XD TXT'
The only thing I can do is cry
Because all of the joy and happiness has been drained
from my body
I feel as if no one understands
I feel as if I should be dead
It's not as if it would make a difference to anyone
Just take me away
So I can become what I am destined to be
Let my place be given to someone who deserves it, who
I am in a dark place and it seems as if I am stuck
Nothing, no one is in this dark place with me
Leaving me alone in the dark fighting this battle and
Losing day after day sitting here missing your face
Screaming deep down and crying in disgrace
Wishing for you to be by my side
Instead you run and look to hide
The pressure we have to be the best
Is causing our youth to be put to the test
So look at me and see me cry
Because I miss you and I'm not going to lie
As I cut my wrist and watch my clothes stain
It's just a reminder of all of my pain
Teardrops across my face
And at the same time I feel my heart race
The blade slips away from my hand on to the floor
Oh how I wish I was able to feel that just one more
And it was bleeding on the bathroom floor
That you decided not to take it anymore
You looked down into my eyes
And said you wouldn't save me next time
You said you could not wait and see
When I was a flnally happy
You said it was a waste of time and space
So turn me into a different face
So instead of staying, you just left
And left my heart completely bereft
There's nothing left for me to do
But cut me everything in two
So it's back to bleeding on the bathroom floor
Where no one was able to save me once more
Sucking out the last of life crying out to no one
Can't someone hear me?
Screaming out to anyone is there anyone out there?
Can't see anything it's to dark to make out my
Lost and alone this place is so cold
Hands frozen and flngers stuck together
Where am I? Why doesn't anyone come?
Crying out for the last time
I'm going out of my mind
Screaming out to anyone
And no one no one comes to free me from this cold darkness
Why doesn't anyone come?
I've got a confession to make
Can't anybody hear me crying out these last tears?
Screaming out these last words?
Too late to cry out
Too late to scrccim out much too late to wait for someone
Anyone to save me from myself
Just let me leave and not cut my throat in two
So let me leave.
Richard "Lif Man" Madrid III from California Correctional Institution
in Tehachapi, CA, steps up this weeic with a number of powerful
pieces to absorb.
Seven Time Lnser
I'm a seven time loser.
I come from an abusive dysfunctional family,
which did drugs and alcohol.
I was screwed up,
in the hands of my father,
who is a drug addict and a messed up alcoholic himself.
I guess that's where all this madness and sin started
by following my father's footsteps.
Little did I know where it would take me,
to loneliness, in prison.
prejudice, and quick to blame anyone and everyone
for my misfortune,
I destroyed every relationship
trying to do more drugs,
women and sin I would get into.
To try and flU the loneliness and emptiness I had inside,
but that's before the grace of God that has come over
and in me.
For He got my attention.
I'm in prison doing my time
but screw it.
Like my life now?
Heart nf Stnne
This heart of stone sure is missing you.
Sure is wishing you were back where love belongs
This heart of stone has not forgotten you
But broke while trying to pretend that it was strong
Memories have made its will to grow tined and weak
Silently it turned from being bold to meek
Till flnally it gave in to a sad defeat
Aching more and more with every fragile beat
Loneliness has slowly stripped it of its pride
Leaving just an empty heart here behind
Without a hope of any way it could survive
Stranded there alone and simply left to die
^T^^WT^^mmmrm / / . f^/ [/JJ /
'/?XnH^/?D Mf7DffTD TXT canr.'
The Evil One
My name is Satan. I'm the father of lies. I come to rob
steal and destroy. My desires are to rob you of your peace
and to steal your joy, and my ultimate goal is to destroy
Fm the one that hated you from the very first day of
your worthless life. I'm the one that's always with you
when you think evil perverted and disgusting thoughts.
I'm the one who encourages you to lie, steal, cheat, and
display all that good anger, hate and jealousy.
Yes I'm the one who distracts you whenever you try to
do the right things in life boy. Do I love it when you fail?
Guess what, I'm the reason why you don't believe in God.
I'm the one that strangles your faith and eradicates the
spirit that fries to embed its self in you. I love to always
reign supreme in your heart, soul and mind.
Matter of fact, I would love for you to kill someone
real bad so we can sit in the hell fire together forever.
By the way, before I go, I want to remind you not to
do anything good or serve anyone but me. Please don't let
me catch you praising or serving God 'cause I will be very
upset with you. Take care. I'll be watching for sure your
If There Was A Way
I was just standing
Alone in this room
Surrounded by memories
We stopped making to soon
I was just standing
Alone in this room
I was just thinking
All to myself
How I still want you
And nobody else
I was just thinking
All to myself
In this darkness I move slowly
Always struggling to be free
But I still hear your voice
And everywhere I see the choice
That's made such a fool of me
I was just wondering
It there was a way
To bring you back to me
Maybe things I could say
I was just wondering
If there was a way?
Another's Pain Nn One Can Know
Or walk within another's sorrow
The One who made the heart will show
How to sustain it till tomorrow.
The soul is an abyss of deep,
A world unknown, but it's our choice:
To weep with those who mourn and weep.
To joy with those who do rejoice.
One of the striking features of The Beat Within (at least
for me) is the raw quality of some of the workshop entries.
They are murderous. Forgive me, I don't even know if there
is such descriptive term, but if there is - - it's appropriate
to describe some of what I've read in the juvenile section.
Without oversimplifying it, much of what those young
people experience in their daily lives is absurd, and should
not even be placed upon adults.
I'm not talking about the other crap that I myself
used to do in juvy about a dozen years ago. I'm aiming at
what is behind it: the broken people, coming from broken
communities, growing up in broken families, trying to
forge an existence. The sum of which typically results in
more brokenness. The abuse, the neglect (which is simply
another form of abuse), the dope, the game, the streets, the
lack of direction - - all of these are contributing factors. I
don't know. Maybe prison has detached me from reality,
and has made me soft. . .
I write this as an Orthodox Christian, as someone who is
convinced that God is love and His essence is indescribable
goodness. And that this world is governed by God.
Alright, so where, then, does the previous paragraph fit in
this goodness theology? Good question, and unfortunately
I'm unqualified to answer it. But, I will borrow something
out of monastic literature, from St. Anthony of Egypt.
When the same Abba Anthony thought about the depth
It's Sin incredible honor to have Mikhail Markhasev back in the pages
of The Beat Within. This thoughtful writer^ insights are priceless
and a true blessing. He is writing u% from Corcoran State Prison in
Corcoran, Ca. Those of you following this veteran's weekly pieces know
he has been dropping some pretty deep pieces for u% all to read. Pay
attention to every word because you might miss something.
of the judgments of God, he asked, "Lord, how is it that
some die when they are young, while others drag on to
extreme age? Why are those who are poor and those who
are rich? Why do the wicked men prosper and why are the
just in need?" He hear the voice answering him, "Anthony,
keep your attention on yourself; these things are according
to the judgment of God, and it is not your advantage to
know anything about them." Well, in that case, may God
help me know what is "to my advantage", and not concern
myself with what is too high for me.
One of the "injustices" in the world is the fact that I'm
alive, while better men are dead? Can I say anything against
God? No, I'm alive only because God is good, and I'm given
another day to repent, to make sure that my future doesn't
repeat my past. My repentance is a gift - - a part of growing
up, and becoming in prison what I've failed to be in the real
world. That in itself is a gift of mercy.
More about that next time...
Life's a meat grinder of a kind.
Shredding through every fiber and bone
All of humanity squeezed the grind
Together we come, but endure it alone.
There's pressure enough to implode the soul.
Jammed into darkness but that's not the goal
Forced to proceed with no exit in sight.
Pushed from behind toward invisible light
Mangled and mashed, beset from each side
Striving and swimming, unable to hide
Violently slammed but in this we confide:
Uncrushed and unmoved in God's hope we abide.
Life Goes On
I've been hit with a struggle
Ripped from my family
Pushed to the edge
I shook hands with insanity
But ril be all right, though
'Cause you taught me how
So keep your head up for me, Homie
And never look down
Because still through it all
Happiness will prevail
I'll have some battle wounds
But I'm gonna live to tell the tale
Life goes on, Homie
But only if you let it
Guilt is for the weak
So live free and don't regret it
Every dog has his day
So become a man and have a lifetime
Get your mind right, fly right
And let your light shine
Never give up hope
And know that nothing ever comes
But never feel powerless
Because, Homie, you're a young king
With so much to live for
So much to lose
So step back fro the past
And snap back to the real you
It's important to know
That mistakes will be made
But you've gotta learn from them
Let 'em be motivation to change
When we consider the gifts this writer of barely 21 years already possesses — gifts of
intelligence and grace and humor and love — we can only imagine how much he will teach u%
as he grows. Michael Cabral is one of those "natural-born" writers who can say the most profound
things in the simplest ways. The two pieces that follow are "old" pieces to him. He wrote the poem,
"Life Goes On" when he was still in juvenile hall, already recognizing that change starts from the
individual, and that it is a process, not simply a statement. The longer piece, "Road To Freedom" is
a parable (like those that Jesus told) that was meant to answer a friend's question, "What's prison
like." After reading it, the friend wrote back, "I don't get it." We hope you do. Your life may depend
on it. Michael shares his brilliance with us from his cell at Salinas Valley State Prison.
I know evil ways
Aren't erased in a sentence
But it's time to break the cycle
Step up and make a difference
You're the future of the world
So let the past be the past
Be strong move on
Live long, but not fast
There's not enough time
In this life to waste
So hurry up and be yourself
'Cause you're one of the greats
You've got the key to joy
Right in front of your face
And when you stop to realize it
There's no more running away
There's no more problems to create
All the drama is useless
Once you open up your eyes
There's no more need for excuses
'Cause things happen to us all
It's how you react to it
That'll set you apart
From either pain or happiness
And never live to impress
Be the best because of love
If fake friends is what you need
The world will never be enough
And learn to forgive
Accept your neighbor for who he is
'Cause one day you'll need a friend
And he'll be yours if you be his
Remember where you're from
It can't become a mystery
Let the past be the past
But take pride in your history
Because knowing who you are
And you have been through the
Is sometimes enough
To get you through the pain and
Be thankful for your memories
But life goes on
Hold fast to your morals
Know right from wrong
And every time you think you Ccin't fly
'Cause everything's gonna be all right
That life goes on, Homie
Yes, it does
And know that no one can ever
Take our pride from us
Road To Freedom
Michael is sitting on the middle cushion of his mama's
couch, directly in front of the TV, watching nothing he feels
is particularly good. He isn't really paying at any attention
anyway. He woke up this morning the best mood he has
been in for quite some time, and that's all his mind is
wrapped up in right now.
Occasionally, he considers what to do today, what might
flt his unexplainable joy and the broad smile he just can't
get rid of. (Not the he intends to explain or get rid of any
part of this moment.) He thinks about his friends and who
he should call to share today with. Also, he thinks about
his family and how lucky he is to have such an amazing
"Mom!" Michael calls out during "a few short messages."
He wants to ask his mom if she is going to be busy today,
because he's decided that she is the perfect person to share
a good day with. "I know you hear me. Mom," he says in
mock-seriousness. She doesn't answer him, so he walks
from the living room to the kitchen where he thinks she is,
but she isn't. Michael's mom isn't in her bedroom or in the
garage, either. In this garage, though, he notices that his
mom's car is gone, too. So he assumes that she just went
to the store real quick, that she'll be right back.
Still smiling, Michael — comfortable with it because he
is alone — begins to scream (he calls it singing) the few
words he remembers from a good song he heard the other
day. It makes him laugh at himself.
He is walking back to the living room to continue
watching whatever it is he was watching, hoping his
mom gets home soon so they can hang out together.
They haven't done that in a while. Almost to the living
room, he passes the telephone on the kitchen counter just
as it begins to ring.
"Talk to me, caller," he answers the phone, the smile
heavy in his voice.
The voice on the opposite end of the line was heart-
attack serious, though. "Is this Michael?"
"Yes, it is." The seriousness in the called voice somewhat
confused Michael. It almost sounded too serious. This has
to be one of his friends about to pay a pointless prank, he
thinks. Then, just as he is about to ask the caller for his
name, the caller speaks again.
Urgently he said, "Someone you love has been in a
terrible accident. That person is at Freedom Hospital," and
with that the caller hung up.
"Someone I love?!... Accident?!... What the hefl!"
Michael's thoughts are racing. Is it his mom? One of his
brothers? Or his sister? Are his friends okay? Is this even
Michael's good day and good mood aren't good any
more. His smile is gone. He is confused and he is scared.
But he is determined to get to Freedom Hospital, to flnd out
whether everything is all right or is gonna be all right. Who
is hurt? What the hell is happening?
Panicking, Michael grabs his keys, runs out the door
of his home, and gets into his car. He speeds away. Moving
faster than he's ever gone before (and too scared to slow
amam// • #//////
down), he is running stop signs, ignoring oncoming traffic,
and he isn't even wearing a seatbelt. All that is on his mind
is getting to Freedom.
After about four miles, he grows angry because he has,
at this point, already passed more hospitals than he ever
knew there were. Why is it taking so long to get to the
one he needed to be at? Michael's mind is racing again. Is
somebody dying? Dead? In pain? Was "terrible accident"
an exaggeration? Is everything at the hospital okay?
Then he sees his mom's car parked on the side of the
road. His mom is leaning against the car, almost looking as
if she has been waiting for him to pass by. She smiles and
waves and blows kisses as soon as she sees her son. This
makes Michael feel better. It even brings him back to reality
long enough for him to realize just how fast and reckless
he is driving.
But this realization makes him panic again. He is
beginning to cry, wondering to himself if it is too late to
slow down. Deciding that yes, it is, he then wonders if he's
even going to make it to the hospital. Will he crash along
the way? Will he take a wrong turn and never find Freedom
"I have to get there, I have to get there, I have to get
there," he is repeating over and over in his mind. "Everything
is going to be okay," he tries to comfort himself. "But what
if it isn't?"
He looks as far ahead up the road as he can, but sees
nothing... or, at least, nothing familiar. Where the hell is
this damn Freedom?"
Hopefully, for his sake, he hasn't already passed it by.
Greggory Sleeth is writing u% from a correctional facility in S^n
Diego, Ca and wants to share a quick reminder with all you readers
Forget each kindness that you do
As soon as you have done it.
Forget the praise that falls to you
The moment you have won it.
Forget the slander that you hear
Before you can repeat it.
Forget each slight, each spite.
Each sneer, where ever you may
Remember every kindness done
To you, what ever its measure.
Remember praise by others won
And pass it on with pleasure
Remember every promise made
And keep it to the letter.
Remember those who lend you
Aid and be a grateful debtor.
Remember all the happiness
That comes your way in living
Forget each worry and distress.
Be hopeful and forgiving
Remember good, remember
Truth, remember Heaven's above
Michael McKinney is writing us from Union Correctional Institution
in Raiford, Fla. Michael has been dropping nothing but game for all
u% readers for awhile now. He's an intelligent writer that is not afraid
to put his feelings down for all you readers out there to know what
his life, shoot, what prison is like. Listen to this man you might learn
something. See where he's coming from.
Trapped in a Hole
My life is trapped in a prison hole
But I will not fold
I been kept in this prison hell hole for a great number of
More years then I can count on my hands
With both hands put together
I have become to be somewhat clever
Quick to learn and apply my ideas
This is what helps me survive
This hole I have been trapped in for so many years at a
While being in the hole, many times the system have
To push me to that breaking point hoping to lose my
But my inner strength kept me hanging on strong
My inner strength kept me from letting this system
break me Into selling my soul
That's something that was never going to happen
'Cause I will keep up my struggle until I grow old
But only the wise way
God is the only one I will allow
To have full control over my soul
God's word was my source of hope in this mad and bad
I have been trapped in, and in this hole,
I have heard there are times to bend but just don't break
I took that saying as one would have to be flexible in a
situation like this 'cause in the hellhole of prison
In prison every circumstance conspires to make a
prisoner lose His hold, so he won't have any control
But in this hole I still have the freedom and ability to
choose What my attitude would be like in a given set of
amasm// • r/r/et/
The most beautiful thing in this world I have known
I've watched it blossom like a rose than turn to stone
I've smelled it, held it, breathed in its sweet scent
I've laid beside it for hours s I lay content
I've wished for it to love me as I've loved it so
I've longed for the beauty as I've watched the beauty
I have tasted every part of this beauty oh what a sweet
Lips to lips, face to face, in each other's embrace
I've been apart from that beauty, how I long for that day
When all the miles between us will simply turn to none
Your beauty shines like the stars in a clear night sky
Our love is honest, its truth, it does not lie
You're always there whether we're near or far
That's why I love you for all that you are
Our love is like reality it does not bend
For that its great, our love will never end
Our love will last longer than time and space
For that our love cannot be replaced
If I shall ever question our love
I shall be denied from the heavens above
To burn forever in the fiery flame
For all eternity our love shall try to reclaim
Afraid tn Ask
As I sit in my cell and anticipate the day of my release
I wonder where I would go if my breath would cease
Where would I go if my life would come to an end?
Will I fall to the smoldering pits or to heaven will I
As I sit behind these walls I ask questions that's
unknown to man
On the yard I smile and live like my life is grand
Some are scared to die I welcome death with a simple
Most don't care where they go till they've walked that
last inch or mile
My life has been on a downward spiral now it's almost
up in smoke
On the words I've dreaded to speak will I fall and choke
Will I ask for forgiven when death is finally at my door
Or will I cast all aside and simply be a boor.
This I vow to you heaven and earth combine
Our mind body and soul our hearts intertwine
This I vow to you I will never leave
A perfect life for us, this I will achieve
This I vow to you when I say I do
Our love will be forever just me and you
This I vow to you in my hour of death
I would of gave you all my love
In me there's nothing left
This I vow to you when I reach the
Heaven above the throne beside my God I'll
Wait for the one I love.
Robert Dixon is no stranger to The Beat Within, sk% many of you
readers have %een his woric in past \%%ue%. Robert is currently iociced
in South Central Correctional Center in Missouri. He has a few poems
to share with everyone and his work really shows you his thoughts and
insights on life itself behind these prison walls.
I wonder what it's like to be a good father
I wonder what it's like to be there for my daughter
I wonder what it's like to watch my daughter grow
I wonder what it's like to play with her in the snow
I wonder what it's like to watch my daughter pray
I wonder what it's like to see her on Christmas day
I wonder what it's like to hear her say dad wake up
I wonder what it's like to see her put on make-up
I wonder what it's like to tuck her on at night
I wonder what it's like to sing her Silent Night
I wonder what it's like to drop her off at school
I wonder what it's like to hear her say dad you're so cool
One day these wonders will turn to stone
These wonders will disappear as soon as I go home
As I sit IH mif cell and antici-
pate the da If of mif release
I wonder where I won Id go If mif
hreath woM cease
Where would I go If mif life
would come to an end?
Prisuu Life At Seveuteen
I came to prison at seventeen
Scared and depressed
I tried to look mean
Then I found the man who made me happy throughout
I would pick up a bible to hear what He had to say
He told me not to sin, to live like this day was my last
Look to the future instead of the past
He said ever time you feel like you are going to sin
Pick up the bible and pick up a pen
Write down the things you see and feel
Soon enough they will be real
In prison I see men weak and small
Strong and tall then I wonder their downfall
So I tell them of you and what you've been through
I tell them to come to church with me on Sunday
Some come and stay
So now I'm on my knees and this is what I pray
Forgive them lord for they do not know
The love you have share and show
I pray that they find you before it's too late
I pray that you fill their hearts with love and take out the
I pray they will look down deep within and find you oh
Please forgive them. Amen.
My Last Letter To The Beat
It has been 10 years since I knew of this publication and it
has been an honor and a privilege to know you all. In a huge
way my printed expressions have helped me grow and see
who I am, and you all have helped me grow and see who I
am and you all have helped me become a man just by your
support and free publication. For that I am in great debt for
So as to this missive it will be my last, so that another
may take it's place. As all things come and go, so must I
follow the order of unbreakable occurrence. I am at great
peace now that God has pulled me out of my darkness
and I see more clearly then at any other time in my short
existence. So as to what I could write to awaken another...
well it has all been said from all who write you. All the
expressions of all the emotions from all who search for
where they belong have built a path to the truth.
Each poem is a brick in the path to what we all truly
seek. Life, ... and not just life, but life to it's fullest, life with
love, truth, justice, dignity, forgiveness and compassion.
These true virtues of who we are, are the highest we can
achieve. Love being the strongest. I believe it is Christ that
has given me these and I would not be doing my duty if
I did not tell you so. Such a skeptic I was, but I see that
skepticism is nothing, nothing but foolish pride. Each new
person is condemned to live our lives but they do have
Jeremy Towner is writing u% from Corcoran California. Jeremy has
been a writer for The Beat Within since it damn near started, when
he was a youngster fighting for his life in Sskntsk Cruz County Juvenile
Hall. He's been blessing u% with his powerful pieces for a long time now.
But we're going to let him speak his piece and where he stands, we do
hope he reconsiders and continues to bless his friends here at The Beat
with his wisdom. We hate losing writers and friends. The Beat prides
itself in relationships, so to read the following piece saddens u%.
freewill to change their choice on which life to follow.
Sometimes we copy many ways to live from many lives and
hope we do it right. For me there is only one true life to live.
That is the life of Christ.
So I cannot say what way to go in life, only Christ can.
And if all want a normal life then they will listen, learn,
and fight uphill. Remember, we have all fallen and that was
easy. It's rising back up that is the true test of who we are.
There are others around us who have fallen and they will
try to drag you back down again and again. Leave them
to their darkness and seek the light of truth and the true
Kingdom of Heaven. Life is a test of endurance but it is
nothing more than we can handle for we are the creation
of life's expression. We are the elements of the world but
our souls are the very breath of divine life, keep seeking
and you will find what has been within you since your first
breath in this world.
Keep fighting, keep expressing, keep growing.
We never grow smaller, only bigger.
Blue-Eyed Blonde Book Two
The loud, obstreperous lonely, unmarried, dysfunctional and
On bl21l07 at 4: 15 pm, N walked into my room (unauthorized
and against the rules because he had a gun strapped to him)
and took off his dark, Ray Charles sunglasses and proceeded
to verbally harass, taunt, tease and insult me. I'm glad he
had the audacity to (finally) pull off his dark shades (if but
for a moment) because when I look into your eyes I see you.
Everything I need to know about you is revealed to me in those
(eyes) windows to the soul.
I saw why he keeps them on. A. He has some kind of nervous
tick, which causes him to blink his eyes a thousand times a
minute. This kind of eye battling is very common to tweakers
and speed freaks. Does N use speed? I have absolutely no
evidence that he does. But looking at his eyes, as well as viewing
his constant jitteriness, etc., it could be concluded that he may
be a crystal meth abuser. His eyes were dancing around in REM
(Rapid Eye Movement) like someone spinning on a speed trip.
His visit to my room was provoked by the fact that he had heard
that hospital staff has been giving newspapers to read. And in
his demented, biased, un-Christian and corrupted opinion no
inmate should be able to read a newspaper.
Instead we should sit idly and perhaps listen to his
embellished and fictitious talk of imaginary happenings. He
also reinforced the fact that his "Boy" T was gonna silence
me when I get back to Yard-A. N should never (as well as CO
M and Sgt. N ) be allowed to work in a hospital. They have
vicious spirits, assaultive minds and the personal philosophy
of hatred. And maybe all that has happened to me was to bring
me here. Maybe the universe brought a Georgia boy like me
to take on these ignorant, criminal and corrupted officers in
Perhaps God got tired of spiritual wickedness in high
place. And God had your boy (this writer) in training or in
boot camp in Atlanta. God prepared me via my close personal
association with the late great Rev. Hosea Williams. And all
that "Doc" (Rev Williams) learned from his close association
Author, Sherman D. Manning is writing to us from Pleasant Valley
State Prison in Coalinga, CA. He is sharing with us an episode of
the daily life he faces of being in prison. We appreciate Sherman
talcing the time out to share a part of him, given the many books he is
writing/has written. The following piece speaks volumes, and for our
own protection, given we do not know when this piece took place, have
simply changed the names of the correction officers to their initials.
with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was to rub off on me. I learned
passion, toughness, courage, dignity, leadership, and hot to
fight (politically) from Rev. Williams. It boggles my mind to
learn how many people (outside of Atlanta, the state of Georgia,
Alabama, and a handful of other southern states) don't know
who Rev. William's was! Hosea Williams was a Civil Rights
Legend! Chief Field General for Dr. King's S.C.L.C. and Rev.
Williams holds the national record for going to jail (for civil
rights) more than any other civil rights leader living or dead!
I also learned a ton of lessons from my close association
with Ambassador/Mayor Andre Young! And I think that all that
I learned from James, DoUie, Brenda, Rev. Moses Lee Raglin,
Rev. Hosea Williams, Andy Young, Uncle Melvin Jackson, Big
Momma (great grandma Clara Clarkson), Big Daddy (Grady
Jackson-great granddaddy) etc., etc., and what I learned from
so many others in Atlanta, Virginia, Washington D.C., New
York, Los Angeles, Tennessee, etc., etc. All these lessons were
(indeed) preparation for the battles, which I now face. I could
never have sustained and maintained throughout this storm of
a wrongful conviction, the loneliness of incarceration and the
violent attacks upon me by the Ts, Ns, Ms, Sgt. Ns, Bs, the Bs
or some of theses others.
I could have learned what I've learned in any book, course
or class. I had to go through this just certainly as Joseph had
to go through that. I had to come upon this storm just as Job
had to come upon that storm.
There will be changes! You can rest assured that some
things (in CDC) will never, ever be the same because I was here.
I'm not just here for me. But I must represent! I'm representing
Rev. Hosea Williams, Ambassador Andrew Young and in a sense
I represent Martin Luther King Jr., Harriet Tubman as well as
Joseph in Genesis. I've been bought with a price.
amasm// • #//////
'^B/?/?¥ n/7^H^M XT'
Ones Thoughts On Life
I walk into a familiar place in time that takes me back
my childhood, but trapped in a world of confusion and
taking a step into the future and everything is changing.
Stepping back I examine the world that we live in, seeing
what's going on, I wonder why we sometimes act they way
we do, so trying to find my way around and trapped with
no way out everything starts to become clear.
Everyday in a world of madness one tries to maintain
and keep focus on everyday task. Trying to maintain what
life they have, if one at all.
We walk around in our own world and we may tend to
look at the next and wonder what's going on in their lives,
or wondering about their world their living in, like if ours
wasn't enough to deal with.
We probably wonder about what problems they may
face everyday. Are what their dreams may be, or what
goals they are trying to achieve. What is one to say what
they'll do next when they get to the end of them goals,
only to find themselves standing blank and not knowing
what to do next because they completed what they were
after. It wouldn't hurt to just take it one day at a time.
When we tend to worry about other's lives, we tend to
worry about what kind of job they may have, or do they
drive a nice car, but keeps us only guessing. We wonder
what kind of house they may live in or if they even have a
house to even live in.
When we see a homeless person on the street and
seeing their nature, we are quick to judge them and
tend to try and get far away from them like if they had a
contagious disease or something. When really we should
really be wondering what got them there, or what major
even took place in their lives that ruined everything they
Maybe we should examine our own lives and be
thankful for what we do have and for what we don't.
Maybe we should just be thankful for God allowing us
to even have life at all. We should always help others,
because in the same sense like wise will need the same
help someday. We should never be quick to judge anyone,
for there's enough of that in the world already and one
should enjoy the simpler things of life and let God do the
Have you ever stopped to think about looking into
ones eyes and just to see the pain or hurt that may be
there in their lives? If you did you might be hurt by the
sight of it. Looking into that confusion of a world that is
long dead and gone, then and only then would it get you
think about your own life and how good your life really
Looking into the windows of the soul in front of you
and wondering what makes that person tick are what
might keep them going in their everyday lives. It only
makes you wonder, huh?
Sometimes we alt to kneel down to ones level and
ask, "Are you ok?", "Do you need help?", or "How may I
Or have you ever looked at the next and always wonder
how can you step your foot into that person's life, to see
what changes may take place?
Have you ever stopped to think how we got here, or
is life on earth like a world inside a computer, just made
up and your just dreaming, and when and if you do ever
wake up, you realize that the real world you woke up in,
is really nothing like the one you dreamed about at all....
It's your thoughts "what do you see in your world?"
Jerry Graham II aka Mouse is writing u% from a Correctional Facility
in Snyder, Texas. His writing is really deep and has a lot to do with
life in general. Jerry is trying to get a very important message across
with us readers of The Beat Within. We can't be dwelling on our past ^%
we try to start a bright new future. Listen to what this man has to say!
the things we want to work out
doH 't alwatfs work out and thetf
take CI tMrn for the worse,,, ^
Two People-One Journey
As we all know at some point in our lives, in many
relationships we have to move on toward new
relationships, fixing broken hearts and healing are old
pain. So much time goes by and we tend to forget the
dreams we once had.
When we have to put down that old life and pick up
the new one that's waiting for us. We wonder where it's
gonna go or who its gonna involve. Our new dreams then
set into a new beginning and the old are blown out with
the wind, washed away never to be seen, or remembered
Times are forgotten as the new life comes into play.
New photos start to surface and the old get thrown away,
as of never to remember the old past, as if it didn't happen.
So this was how are life began...
These two lives that were suppose to be the one. Were
put to the side as of never to have even existed the way
they were suppose to have. They fell in love with not a care
in the world, lost in one another's eyes and captivated
between the two with sparkles drawing out the color that
makes up the beauty that holds fast around one's pupil.
The long gazing into two totally different worlds, tell the
story of passion and the long journey's that ones been
through to get to where they are now.
Never understanding what their purpose was in life,
but now finding it to be sitting right in front of them. As
both thoughts spun out of control, they see that life is
not starting to make sense and everything is starting to
come together to complete a world that once seemed so
big to one is now really just small now that two occupied
As we go on in our new lives for some reason the
things we want to work out don't always work out and
they take a turn for the worse. Tragedy sets in and the
two world's that were just starting to make sense are now
starting to fall apart and not understanding what's going
on in a state of confusion, their lives begin to fall apart
and hurt and pain begins to set in. Then setting into a
cold and darkened world where it's lonely and only felled
with tears and misery, the remains of memories are all
that makes the pain harder to bare.
Then not wanting to accept the world that loneliness
has to bring, they both set out in different directions in
hope to find new lives, hoping to find happiness. Once
again, but not realizing they are just repeating an on going
cycle that just goes on from one person to the next.
So as they move on in their lives, their existence of a
relationship no longer is to be remembered, but only the
memories lurk in the back on ones mind.
"What's your Journey?"
^I^I^^^^^^ ^ffUJj.JJ, ^JIJJ.
'UBF'F';?B¥ S, Mn;?f7LBS'
For a country founded on creating freedom and equality our
government seems to spend an inordinate amount of time profiling
people. During a campaign season, you, my fellow citizens, are a
'demographic'. To our governments' financial gurus, you are part
of an 'economic class'. Why are U.S citizens, living in the land
'the land of the free' so neatly compartmentalized? In actually it
is an exercise in control, to separate the primary citizens from
the secondary citizens, or the 'sheep from the herders'. When
restricting laws are enacted to tighten control, they are manifested
under the guise of public safety. You are not excluded! If the
effect of secondary citizenship hasn't been felt yet, your turn is
Florida's government is rapidly approaching the status of the
'Gestapo'. Florida is becoming a 'police state'. There are over 120
prisons in Florida (average-2 per county) in operation. County jails
are overflowing with people waiting t take their turn as wards of
the state. Many cities in Florida are given the dubious distinction
of some of the highest crime rates in America. This is largely
based on prisoners being released and then re-entering the prison
system once again.
Why is recidivism so high? Why are communities not getting
any safer even with all its' 'Gestapo tactics? Florida is a 'for life'
state. Make one mistake and Florida will condemn you for life!
There is an old Florida saying: "Florida, come on vacation; leave
on probation; return on violation". Sadly, for thousands of people,
this is true.
When convicted of a crime in Florida, you are monitored for
life. Felons must register as a criminal in any country they live in,
and re-register if they move within state. You are subject to possible
unwarranted harassment as long as you are a Florida resident.
Justice having been meted out, those released from prison, having
paid their dept to society, should be allowed to mainstream back
into that society.
How do we go from a 'reactive society' to a 'proactive' one?
Creating more fruitless laws is a pure reactive measure. If we don't
address the root of the problem hen we are merely putting a band-
aid on an infection. The best example is drug addiction. This is
really a medical crisis leading to criminal activity. 'Get tough' laws
proven not to work. Mandatory counseling and rehabilitation would
go much, much further to curtail substance abuse and subsequent
There are hundreds of ways of improving the rate of recidivism,
and I am sure my thoughts are not an inspiration of any unique
wisdom. But when a judge boasts of having a goal of issuing 1
million years of prison time during his term in office, (as in Duval
County) what does that lead to you believe? A judge is supposed
to be fair and impartial. If a goal like this is set, then they are
obviously biased and agenda-driven ad show total disrespect for
the law and their elected position.
We, the secondary citizens, put these people into office because
we are manipulated by fancy slogans and fear. That is their power
over us and that is what makes our citizens' 'sheep'. In Florida the
prison system is a major source of revenue and employment. It is
a cash cow pure and simple. There is no money in prison reform
but it actually would cost less to rehabilitate that to incarcerate.
The government postulates about rehabilitation but, as usual, it is
caught up in its own bureaucratic inability to function decisively.
Lives are destroyed, families are separated, and children
psychologically damaged, unnecessary new crimes committed
with needless victims, premature deaths, growing addictions,
and endless suffering is the future of convicts and their families.
Could these horrors also be good business and revenue for
It is ironic that government officials claim they are making
communities safer, and yet at the end of their ineffective day,
they retreat to their guarded, gated havens, away from the very
citizenry they promised to serve and protect. For every nobleman
(or politician) there is a need for peasants (secondary citizens).
This is a historical reality and no one in the mainstream is exempt
from unwarranted stigmatization.
Re-establishing a community bond is necessary. Fairness and
decency, while not the norm any longer, are vital for a community
to exist. Don't expect elected officials to do the right things as
they have their own agendas, and have probably risen to their own
level of incompetence. Officials secretly laugh at us because, as a
whole, we are so easily 'herded' and fear is their weapon of choice.
Majority rules, but through devious manipulation we are cut from
the herd and feel isolated and helpless.
It is past time to join together and rise above our feelings of
inadequacy and work together for the good of your family, your
neighbors, to embrace the principles of freedom and equality that
your country was founded on. It is not up to me, it is not up to you,
it is up to us all...
Jeffrey S. Morales Mayo is incarcerated in Correctional Institution
in Mayo, Florida. Jeffrey is a part of string of excellent writers that
come from Florida. He shares his thoughts on life, politics, and gives
good advice about trying to move ahead once we hit the bump on the
road of life!
Bump in tiie Road
To begin our journey in life we must first get on the highway
that leads us to our future. In the beginning, the future looks
good. As we start on our journey we are sent on our way with
a full tank of gas, (and for the more fortunate, a bag of chips
and a cold drink).
As we begin our travels to 'Destination Unknown' we will
have to make many decisions along the way. Jimmy Buffet
says. "I may not know where I am going, but I'll know it when
I get there". TRUE FACT: Most people do not know what they
want to be when they grow up. Some people even spend their
lives stuck on deciding whether to grow up. Some people
even spend their lives stuck on deciding whether to grow up
or NOT! (I admit I tackled this question longer than most.)
Some of us start out with a great deal of challenges
that make it difficult to look past the present and see the
future ahead. No matter where you starting point is in life,
remember: Ride on...
On our highway of life we will come across exits to get
on and off of. Each exit represents a decision, some good
and some not so well. The longer we drive on life's highway,
we can start to see the difference (if we choose to) between
the good and no so good exits. Sometimes, in life, we choose
a bad exit. This decision can put us on an extended detour
(like prison) leaving us to lose some ground until we find our
highway again. The fact is that when a detour ends you have
to be prepared to ride on. O.K., so what if your past has more
not so good exits than good ones? Is avoiding choosing an
exit in the future the answer? "Even when you choose not
to choose you still have made a choice." (Lyrics by Rush) in
life you have to learn to "take the good with the bad". (Yeah,
yeah, it's true; life is an adventure, if and only if you open
your mind to it! You can even learn from the not so good
Most times when we look back on the 'not so good'
times we can feel good about ourselves because we survived
it and moved forward. That means you're riding on... So NOT
choosing NOT an option. (And yes, that means you are still
making a choice.) I am personally excited about the future
and the road in front of me. While on the highway of life I
have chosen not so good exits, I still try to walk away with
something learned from it. I try to think of the things that lay
ahead, like the birth of a child; or birthdays, wife's (only one
at a time); new cars, travel, better jobs, business ventures,
houses, and $50.00 scratch-off ticket winners. The list goes
Somewhere on the highway of life is the exit that will
lead me to the 20 lb. bass everyone catches but me. (If you
know the exit, don't tell me.)
One final though: "What about the bumps in the road?"
These are things you don't control and can screw up a good
road trip. I was recently running down life's highway (actually
I was on a detour, looking for it), when 'WHAM!' I get a flat.
I can grumble about it but it doesn't want to be flat either.
AHH-HA! How about whatever made my tire go flat? Yes, I
can do that. However, the true answer is still "No". So who
or what do I get mad at? The answer is "Nothing". In order to
move on, you need to fix the flat. Any energy used other than
the task at hand is wasted energy. Simply get past the flat as
best you can ride on... When you do, later down the road you
can look back and feel proud you overcame it. Learn from
the exits, detours and bumps in the road and look forward
to finding the next 'good exit', like perhaps an exit with a
discount tire store... Ride on...
amam// • #//////
The Battle In Life
When you and I came into this cold hearted world, we were
all baby's not knowing the right from wrong. We did not
know about the battle that was in front of us. We didn't
know what to expect, because we were all too young
to understand the concept of life. We were too young to
understand the battle in life and what the meaning to life is.
But little did we know it's a process as our life went along
to conform to this battle to adapt.
Now us being kids and learning to battle with life we
all had to learn on how to crawl before we walk and walk
before we talk. We learn from consideration of our parents
so being a newborn baby we cry out for help in the battle.
We cry because we need to be feed some of us have been
breast fed and some battle fed from our own mother. It's
just a part of a natural life for some of us you know our
mom can leave us somewhere some place for a second or a
We cry because we sense she is going, because of the
fear we have that we might be left behind. The battle that
we need to be fully succeeded by our own mom touch of
her and the comfort of her love to guide us to the light of
life. To teach us what is right from wrong which leaves us
in to phase of life. Now some of us had to find a way to have
this battle in life. Some of us are rich and some of us are
poor, but no matter what race you are, you are always the
underdog to this battle.
In life, as we all know we went to some type of school
to learn something and what we wanted to be. So being a
kid or kids we all set goals and wanted to achieve them
and most of us took a wrong direction to life not knowing
what to expect of the damage that we did to ourselves. Most
people as kids always wanted to be a doctor or lawyer or
a policeman but in the long run a person who gets high,
breaks the law, like being a car Junker or a dope dealer or
a hooker and just on the street.
That's even a battle in life to and why we are not thinking
straight in our own head. We can't think to be safe. We're
just careless and looking for a reason to get caught up in
society today, to put fast money in our pocket. But little did
we know its always a price to pay not knowing the severity
of the repercussions to our life. Some of us will get a grip
In life's terms some will live a fast life and some will
go slow and some are aware of the concept to life. It could
be very short. It's very rare you see people live up to 100
years old. Now please take heed to the battle of life because
they come in many shop and forms that you recognized the
battle of life because our life is so precious that we take a
lot for granted.
Have you ever thought that your life would be a battle
because someone or someplace or even loved ones. Could
it be a misunderstanding and not knowing who could be at
fault when trying to explain that your right and knowing,
which doesn't make you bad person but it dose make you
your own worst enemy because it's a battle within yourself.
Not knowing what to expect next in your life such sitting
Gregory Valdez is writing u% from a correctional facility in
Sacramento, Ca. In these two powerful pieces Greg explains the
battles we all face. He talks about the battle that's in our mind to
constantly to the right thing. He also talks about the battle in life. We
all have been through our fair share of battles in life. And if we want to
winners of the contest!
down with a person trying to explain something but not
really knowing how to go about it because it's too difficult
to say what you want to say or what you mean.
The battle of trying not to listen to good advice because
in our own head we think we know it all and the reality we
don't see now we just made a small thing into a big thing.
Now the key to our life is wisdom and the concept of it is if
we do not understand it there we lose the battle because of
our own selfish acts or not trying to seek the good advice.
Now I always hear if and when people are locked up I will
change if society just gives me another chance I'll be that
productive member of society.
But lil' did we know we already permitted our thought
and do difference because of our selfish ways and fail to
realize the battle is right there any give time. Because it's
too good to fight the temptation. And the battle of life will
always slap us in the face unless we achieve any and all
obstacles that come our way. So what you lose is what you
give to me.
The #1 battle is education to be installed in our brain.
It should be like a sponge and soak it all up because in
education there are lots of benefits. Yes it's everywhere
but the cold part about this battle is you have to do the
footwork. Unless, you want the battle to take control of you
and you lose to it. Now a lot of us never ask to be placed
here on earth but here we are with an everyday struggle.
Rather you're behind a wall, in juvie, CYA, jail, prison, the
SHU. Or just the plan in society we all have consistence
with the battle in our everyday life with people.
And now that we got older in life the battle does not
stop. It's not a race but it's a challenge. Most of us all, when
you have a job, a job you work so hard for, and it does not
pay what you expected to pay. Knowing you know you do
not have a lot of money to pay your rent or bills and the
food you have to put on the table, let alone that you have
to wake up and deal with this battle again once you get
back up and step out in society to go to work knowing you
have to be on time for work. And guess what? You ended up
being late for work and the boss wants to talk to you about
him going to have to replace you because of the tardiness
to work on several occasions because of the morning rush
hour. And you're trying to explain why you were late, so
now then he or she gotten the upper hand on you and
you get fired and land up in the welfare office looking for
some kind of support. Knowing all the years you live in low
income, and growing up in the projects, trying to love that
You write your book there, having to sell your fancy
car such as BMW or what you need to make ends meet. But
at the same token you as your own person you can choose
your own battle in life.
And HOW that we got older in life the hat tie does not
stop. It 's Hot a race hMt It 's a challenge.
amam// • r/r/et/
'n/?Bnn/?¥ i^^l^DB^ nanT'
The Battle For Your Mind
Decision features is one of the most important things in
our lives is the control of our minds. Our thoughts are
powerful they can harm us or do us good. A person thinks
many people have trouble minds because inside their mind
they have idols and act out on sexual fantasies for self-
gratification. Is it worth it?
I do not know but because of sin it is an enemy of God.
So with our very own mind we all need to be very cautious.
The way we think and words that come out our mouth, you
notice or here someone say. I get a headache. Would you
think their mind is running on overtime because they think
so hard trying to find a result to what they thinking about
because it was the work of the flesh. Some understand
and some want to battle for your mind. The tempo of your
body and the flesh of this world, which is related to this
encouraging activity of demons hatred and flgh ting jealousy,
These fuel result impure thought eagerness for lustful
pleasure and parties of all that sort of thing I say one day
each of us will stand before God one day on all our account
ability for our actions before its too late they say the near
is end but close anybody know? We all have been alert that
are mind so harden that it comes reprobated and the Bible
has warn us against of having this kind of mind the
devil blinds our mind in to have a veiled in our mind to
have a spiritual truth.
We may have all kinds of unique ways and style and all
kinds of disciplines and flelds of knowledge but when it
comes to spiritual things we don't know anything because
we're blinded. But our mind does not want to believe that's
why the Holy Spirit has to come and lift the veil. Many
people cannot understand it but if they listen to what God
puts in there heart and mind they will understand it. Like
Proverbs: 3/5/6 "trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean
not on your own understanding and all your acknowledge
him and he shall direct your path and let us not forget the
Lord by wisdom found the earth that we walk on sit and
mostly talk on."
Now were you come to and place to where you desire God
you want to be free form all sin and forgiven your spiritual
eyes are opened and your mind is freed and Christ can cure
our mind from anything and everything the body of their
craving of these things that destroy Christ can liberate
and change a person mind so with all this said there is a
renewed of the mind and do not be conformed to this world
but be transformed by renewing of your mind to our loving
Lords of Lords and Kings of Kings, Jesus Christ
For those who don't know me my name is Addiction
Even before you were conceived in your mother's womb
I was already on my mission
Some seek to study me
But I have become invisible to the sight
Most flnd me, and keep me to themselves and
Allow me to float through the veins at night
For some I have become a myth in their mind
For most I have become the raw truth, behind the scene of
I came to attach myself to you
And never let you go
I desire to feast on your inward parts
And ultimately your soul
Fortunately I'm the master of skullduggery
Scholars, and prudent men a like cant get in reach of me
I'll take a young and strong body
And produce the worst of health
I'll take the things you love in life, and exchange it for
My friend comes to see me
For your problems
No matter what they might be
You see I have the answer for every problem
Here have some weed
Is if flnancial heartache
Or a cheating partner, that has gotten you off track
'HU/PTTS cnn^ ^/?.'
Curtis Cook Jr. is bade and he is free! Yes Curtis is writing and
enjoying his freedom and obviously is still a primetime participant
in The Beat Within. He writes u% from Selma, Alabama and wants to
I have the perfect person for this situation
Here try Mr. Crack
Has life gotten down, and it seems everyone has stop
Well try my long time doctor
I call him Dr. Heroin
I've seen how people have let you down, and you feel
There's no one you can trust
Well I know this heavenly up right woman, try Mrs. Angel
Has your mental health taken a turn for the worst?
And everything has become tragic
Well I know this brilliant psychiatrist, here try Mr. Acid
Your friends have become strangers
And you're feeling all alone
Well I know this expert entertainer, try Mr. Methadone
My friend there's millions of things
To get addicted to.
To sabotage your mind
My deception screeches for centuries, leaving many blind
So what efforts will you enforce?
Do your next craving
Will you be strong enough to resist the temptation?
Is your life worth saving?
Take Mo To Collooo
Tell me what is the key
To your soul
Is it money, is it Gems
Is it riches untold
Tell me what makes your
Is it blood, is it love
That makes you weak
Take me inside your heart
Every dominion of your
You and me is time well
Teach me to love to care
To open my heart
Teach me to be tolerant
Teach me to be the lover
With every detail of knowledge
Take me to college
amam// • #//////
'HB/7IIB/7T H. SnHU/BXnB/7T'
Slave-Breaking: Prison is slavery.
Plain and simple.
The Emancipation Proclamation openly ended ancient
(chattel) slavery but secretly instituted modern-day slavery.
In February 1854, the US Congress wrote and voted to
adopt the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which
said, "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as
a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been
duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any
place subject to their jurisdiction."
For this reason, I appropriately refer to an inmate or
prisoner by his or her proper name: To slave.
One of the most common and widely used forms of the
endless tactics of psychological warfare that I see visited
upon us slaves is drugs. The irony is that scores of gullible
slaves are condemned to slavery for possessing and using
illegal drugs that were injected into their community, but
once we're in slavery we're forced to take drugs.
In fact, before the mid-1950s, drugs were not used widely
in therapy for psychological disorders because the only
available sedatives induced sleep as well as calm. Then, the
major tranquilizers Reserpive and the Phenoliazines were
introduced. The drug that I see most commonly used on
slaves in Phenothiazine (trade name: Thorazine).
In addition to alleviating anxiety and aggressive
behavior, the drug reduces psychotic symptoms such as
hallucinations and delusions. It is called an anti-psychotic
drug. What I see done with this drug is the manipulation
of slaves. They are tricked into believing they have a
psychological disorder (because they are told be certified
psychologist or psychiatrist known as a mental health
Herbert B. Schweigert is writing to u% from Crossroads Correctional
Center in Cameron, Mo. Herbert has been a very deep writer for The
Beat Within for a while now. He really brings a lot of hard-hitting,
thought provoking pieces to our readers, and with that, we are honored
to give him the space to share, to teach.
counselor), and they are forced to take this medicine. The
effect begins as the slave becomes permanently pacified. But
then a problem develops. It is a problem for the slave, but
an accomplishment for the oppressor. The slave becomes
drug-dependant. They are made zombies in that form. They
are compliant. They drift to the explicit command and
order of the institution to give us social, occupational or
Also, continued use of the substance in the face of
ongoing or recurring physical or psychological problems
is likely to make the problems worse (as many times is
the case). It is also proven that some drugs have the
opposite effect of what was intended. Say a person without
anxiety and aggressive behavior is given Thorazine, a drug
that is supposed to alleviate these symptoms, what is the
In my case, I was young and going through the various
mental institutions and clinical sessions that I did, and
I was given a drug called Ritalin. Ritalin is a psycho-
stimulant. It is suppose to heighten alertness and arousal.
It and other psycho stimulants were commonly used to
treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders.
But it was found that, "strangely in these cases, they have
a calming effect rather than a stimulating effect." Other
drugs aren't exempt from the characteristics of Ritalin or
the side effects. It's a medical known fact that Thorazine
destroys one's brain cells. That's one way to break a slave.
Prisnns: New Farms Of Envirnnmental Racism.
In the last 40 some years or more the United States has built
more prisons than any other country during and period in
history. The cost of the US criminal justice system now
runs to $200 billion or more per year. But the financial cost
are only part of the story. There are many other costs not
so easily seen, costs passed on to the least able to pay them
- the poor rural towns in which most prisons are built and
the poor urban communities from which most prisoners
are sent. Because the costs of the current prison expansion
are being passed to the poor, especially to people of color,
I say that prisons are examples of economic injustice and
environmental racism just to name a few.
What Are Environmental Racism And Environmental
Environmental racism is racial discrimination in
environmental policy making. Selective enforcement of
environmental laws, and targeting of communities of color
for environmentally disastrous land uses, such as for
toxic wastes disposal sites or other polluting industries.
Communities of color and poor communities bear an
unequal and unfair number of environmentally destructive
land uses, land uses that take from the community but
don't give back to it.
A study in the late 1980's by the United Church of
Christ, for example, found that of 15 million Latinos
living in the US, 8 million lived in communities with one
or more licensed toxic wastes sites. The environmental
justice movement seeks to end such environmental and
economical and economic injustices by eliminating the
sitting of environmentally toxic facilities anywhere,
along with other newer grass roots organizations since.
It's an on going struggle.
Where Are Prisons Located Today?
Throughout the nation nearly all prisons - just like other
more traditional forms of environmental racism - are sited
in poor, rural communities on a hollow promise of jobs and
economic prosperity. Many of these communities are also
communities of color. In California, for example, the vast
majority of new prisons have been sited on thousands of
acres of what was farmland in the Central Valley.
These communities are targeted for prisons much
similar communities are targeted for other environmental
disastrous industries. A report in the middle 1980's on
the sighting of hazardous waste incinerators for example,
concluded that communities that would offer the least
resistance to the incinerators were small, rural towns
whose residents were poor, majority catholic with high
school educations or less who worked in jobs like mining,
timber or agriculture. California's prison towns' fit this
profile precisely and still does.
How Are Prisons Sited?
As if often the case with other environmentally disastrous
land uses, communities are shut out of the public review of
such proposed prison sites. According to the Encyclopedia
of American Prisons: "Site Selection and Construction" p.
447; in an old 1996 issue I'd once read it states "premature
disclosure" making siting a prison difficult because the
^^y;g7«^irag™// . #///// /
'HB/PHB/PT H. SnHMBXnB/?T canr'
public might find out before the details set. Not surprisingly,
notice of any public-hearing is poor, if given at all, while
intimidation by those pushing for the prison is great.
Another barrier (and there are many) to community
participation arises because environmental review
documents are provided only in English. In Mendota, CA for
example the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBOP) wanted to
build a five prison complex awhile back. The FBOP prepared
a 100-page Environmental Impact statement in English.
According to the Bureau of the census at that time, 86%
of the Mendota residents "speak a language other than
English" at home when pressed to translate the 100-page
document into Spanish, the FBOP made the outrageous
claim that translation was not possible because the EIS
contained "scientific" and "technical" terms. Finally the
FBOP produced an insulting 10 page summary in Spanish.
The environmental justice movement insists that
the political process be open and democratic, so that all
who might be affected by a project have the full complete
information and access to participate in making decisions.
What Are The Environmental Impact Of Prisons?
Public officials often portray prisons as "clean industries"
and promise hundreds of decent jobs to economically
desperate towns. When in fact, the effects of prisons are
almost entirely negative. They suck up scarce local resources
such as water; they require towns to pay for roads, sewers
and utilities; they generate tens of thousands of miles of
community pollution, often in the most polluted parts of
the state; they take irreplaceable land out of any productive
use, wasting valuable public resources for nothing but
holding people in cages. They give almost nothing back to
their host communities.
Most prison employees don't come from the host town
nor do they move there after being hired; they commute
dozens of miles each way. Neither the prison nor it's
employees spend much money in the town, so local
businesses don't benefit. Despite well known and proven
alternatives, prisons take thousands of people out of their
communities and families, further impoverishing already
hard-hit urban areas. In the communities whose members
make up the vast majority of the prison population, families
are destroyed and local businesses lose customers and
employees. Prisons are environmental and social disasters
for the communities from which prisoners come and for the
towns in which prisons are built.
Youth Who Are Rebelling Against Society And Why
Many of our children are born oppressed in this world
and are being deprived of opportunities to develop into
responsible adults. They are being singled out and
separated by a process designed to make them self-destruct
and simultaneously become a menace to society. Many
people say that our youth's behavior is the cause of the
toughening crime laws and the growing prison population.
If this is true, it could be concluded that we adults are as
much to blame for the laws and the increase in the prison
It could be said that we just don't understand our youth
or we just don't care about the growing numbers of them that
are left alone to fend for themselves and to be engulfed by
the situation that is threatening a large portion of our youth
population. Society's focus should be to save the future of
our youth. It's time for us to start speaking up for them,
talking to them and ask them to help us understand their
way of life so we can build a bridge of communication
and a defense for them from the accusation that they are
a menace to society.
They are being excluded from enjoying their dreams
here in America. We hand them up like fools as a sacrifice to
the government without a fight because our nightmares are
recognized through the fiesh of those we call our enemies.
We should not allow this situation to get any worse. Look
at the population of the United States juvenile facilities,
jails and the prison population. It refiects our children
more and more. We are allowing others to think of us as
people who put their children in the hands of the system
that steered us into out current system and make it their
One of the reasons we do this is because we have been
conditioned to dismiss our children as just another scene
in the tragedy that affects all our lives. It is because of the
illusory realities we believe in that we are doing good and
getting better of that the plight of our children does not
The reality is that we are validating our own oppressive
state by ignoring the needs of those that are trying to
improve themselves and the quality of life for all people
even more so for the people of color here in America. We
have forced our children to choose their own paths toward
self-empowerment, but we are not looking at the reality
of whether our children can even reach empowerment
relying on themselves. We must help them to choose the
right path. This is a process of personal development. If we
investigated the reality of what "self-empowerment" is for
all people(s) then we would come to the conclusion that
we have to deconstruct their and our current mindsets.
We have to reconstruct a mindset focused on getting the
building process started.
Lastly, we must construct a constant elevation of self-
empowerment for all to embrace without any having to
sacrifice anyone. Our children are not bad people. They
have simply never been taught how to control their behavior
and to get the best out of life with less bumps and bruises.
We must take into account that they, especially those who
never received nurturing guidance from their parents or
other adults, may develop psychological problems as adults
that are caused by mixed cultural, psycho-emotional, and
sociopolitical factors. All of us adults must take the time to
raise our children.
America is the only nation of people that does not
take the appropriate time to raise our children. Our
communities have been seduced into assuming that our
children can survive on their own. This type of thinking
has been the cause of our children's development of anti-
social values that keep them at odds with every structure
here in America.
Outside of life at home, both parents and children are
subjected to an engineering that fosters scorn of each other,
without a heart for helping each other correct ourselves.
Our love and concern for each other has been misplaced.
During olden times the love and concern we had for each
other helped us to correct our behavior. It created a mode
of behavior in which we are only loved by our families.
These values were passed on to other generations, and the
process was repeated. The older generation was not bad,
it was just in need of community education on social and
When the older generation cried out for help by
committing destructive behavior and crime, it was done
so because it lacked social and political educations. The
community ignored them until they started to affect the
amam// • #//////
''HB/?IIB/?T H, SHHU/BTUB/PT canr'
economy and the social elite, which has always manipulated
our community through their media. They have type cast us
all as aggressive people and gang bangers mafias. This has
kept the generations before them from entitling us human
It is not strange to see today's generation calling each
other honkies, pigs, ninjas, dogs, thugs, hoodrats, chicken
heads, white trash and many other previously derogatory
descriptions. Most of this generation has not received an
education that fosters a higher degree of understanding and
produces a higher destiny for themselves that isn't defined
and dictated by the corrupt U.S. government oppressors
we live under. Far too many of our youths are not learning
this easy lesson until they reach an age where they can
only imagine what they could have accomplished with their
Why is it that trillions of tax dollars are diverted
away from this future generation's education and social
service budget? This generation has been cut off by
our government, and it is only causing more and more
dysfunctional behavior and creating a class doomed to
incarceration drug addictions or an early death. This is the
form of persecution that is being used to kill the spirit and
the body of this generation and all the future generations.
But what is killing this generation even more is that as bad
as our enemies may be, they are not as bad as we are to
each other. Could it be the fear factor, checkmate they got
us in, making us too scared to rise up against them, so we
just use, hurt, and kill each other, instead?
We're like fools keep falling for the same tricks. We
have very little self-control, and we have been remade
through an image of us physically, mentally, spiritually,
and economically. The world climate of past generations
was much different than that faced by this generation.
Those who lead this country understand how this scenario
developed and use it to keep themselves in power. But
our generation has a strong will and the determination to
rise up and be successful. Our downfall hasn't been in the
desire for self-empowerment but in the choices made to act
We must encourage our youth to choose well and help
them understand the choices they have made. If we could
take more of a collective, interest in each other both middle
and lower class peoples of all races and creeds, this would
be more valuable to us than all the schools the United
States has to offer. It is time for us as a people to come
together as one and help this generation by giving them
a better sense of direction and the ability to be a positive
infiuence on others of their generation.
It is time to start giving them our time so they will
understand how much their time means to us and giving
them our love. We need the next generation to be better
than this generation and so on with each generation to
follow. If we do not start doing what we can now, then we
could become the problem we are trying to address, and
one day we will be faced with the same problems from the
generation that we refused to help. We all have to unite,
middle and lower class, we have to rally and fight together...
What's the worst that could happen that hasn't already
happened to us. Get fired from your jobs?
You have the worst jobs anyway working to make the
rich richer. They burn crosses on your lawns, burn your
houses down call you spicks, niggers, and white trash. All
that has happened to us before. Small groups are acting out
but they're either being murdered or imprisoned. We can
be a force to reckon with if we all come and stand together
to keep speaking out say enough is enough we ain't gonna
put up with it no more, to make sure it doesn't happen
to us again, or our children and their children's children
will never be safe from this corrupt U.S. system.
"The people need to resist and end this illegal war in Iraq to
prevent any further war crimes our government is forcing
us to commit for them. Killing and bombing civilians is
an illegal is criminal. Ending it is not. Not in God's eyes
and he's the one we need to be concerned with, and his
judgement for your murders." Won't be no apologies or plea
"Liberty without socialism is inequality and injustice
Socialism without liberty is brutality and slavery."
"It wasn't the nails in Jesus' hands and feet that kept
him on the cross, no it was his love for us that kept him
"Capitalism has always relied on slavery. In the beginning,
it was the Africans and the indigenous populations that
labored in captivity. Later, the urban and rural poor, and
today's slaves are the government's prisoners. The modern
plantation is the so called center for corrections."
"Prison serves many purposes. It houses the people you
don't want, the people your scared of, the people who
fight you or a corrupt system, the people who need to
be eliminated or controlled and you make a big money
business out of it. And there's no alternatives. Every study
they've ever done over the last 30 years or more, tells them
that alternatives cost less, are more successful, are more
humane, are refiections of a more caring society. They
know prisons don't work except to break peoples backs,
break them down mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and
to turn pettie thieves into murderers. Prisons only breed
bitterness. But our corrupt government and corrupt law
enforcement and judicial system as well as the ruling class
don't give a shit about these things. If they did we wouldn't
be in this cesspool mess."
"Conventional wisdom would have one believe that it is
insane to resist this, the so called mightiest of empires...
But what history really shows is that today's empire is
tomorrow's ashes, that nothing lasts forever, and that to
not resist is to acquiesce in your own oppression, the
greatest form of sanity that anyone can exercise is to resist
that force that is trying to repress, oppress, and to fight
down the human spirit."
" The people, once united will never be defeated, they
have learned that resistance, allied resistance is actually
possible. The holds are beginning to slip away."
I'd written up an article titied-"PEACE IS PATRIOTIC AND
THAT'S THE PROBLEM" which relates to the war on Iraq
and the war on the poor which I'm sure you'll enjoy, I tell it
like it is, I'll fight and die for my beliefs if necessary. I'd sent
this article out to my lady friend sister Vicki in Texas she's
supposed to be sending you folks a copy of it soon as she
gets typed up. I'm white but I'm not racist, except towards
racist people, and this racist corrupt U.S. government, and
others more powerful.
amam// • #//////
'HB/?IIB/?TII, SHHU/BTUB/PT canr'
I grew up in the inner city ghetto slums that were only
2% white neighborhoods. I've been around Blacks and
Hispanics all my life and would have it no other way. I know
for a fact Hillary Clinton is gonna win the presidency but
sure wish it were Obama or even the Mexican, but they'd
probably only get assassinated.
The Bilderbergers, Hughs, and the lUuminati (secret
societies) that many people don't even know exist, wants
Hillary in and they run all this. Her husband has blood that
are apart of this secret society, there has almost never been
a president elected into the United States government that
wasn't a member of the secret societies, such as Skull and
Bones, Masons, Trilateral Commission, Commission on
Foreign Relations or a member of the Bilderbergers.
You'll never hear about Trillionares but they do exists!
The Rockefeller and Rothschild dynasties have more
accumulated wealth than can be calculated. They own the
two largest banks in the world. Chase Manhattan and World
Bank this is not to mention the untold real estate portfolios,
oil and insurance companies. These are but only two of the
10 richest families in the world that run the world.
I'm gonna do an article one these issues also but in a
religious sense Revelations refers to these as the 10 horns
and they have funded every war that has taken place on
this planet both sides us and our enemies. T£ixes are not
even legal according to the constitution, the FDICC which
is taken out of your paycheck each week, is not even
associated with the Federal Gov.
America needs to wake up. Hillary will do as she is
told to do that's one of the main reasons they want her
in that position as U.S. president. If you get a Republican,
you get an lUuminati member and if you get a Democrat
you still get one. Your vote doesn't count one iota. Not
one! Mammon controls politics. As they say whoever owns
the property owns the monopoly board, owns the pieces
everything even us. Taxation without representation is
what started this mess to begin with.
Get on the internet and do some research into the
dreaded UCC (Uniform Commercial Code!). You've never
seen and never will see classes in UCC try and find out
what it is. Even in prison it is feared that if men are ride
outs, confiscation of the materials is a form of retaliation.
They rule us we are their servants (slaves). Who do you
work for and whom do you owe?
Debt is manufacture. It is not natural. I'm just a nobody
convict I'm not supposed to know these things and as long
as certain special societies keep thinking I don't, I'll be
around longer. How many Christian Bankers do you know?
And if none, why not? Come out of Babylon my children,
the 10 horns of the secret societies is the anti-Christ and
Who are you serving, the Lord or Mammon? I pray that
the God of Peace grants each of you wisdom in all things.
Friends wisdom is the principle thing, in all thy getting, get
understanding! (Proverbs 4:7)
"?risoM serves maftif purposes. It
houses the people if on don't want,
the people if our scared of, the people
who fight tfon or a corrupt stf stent,,, "
Geri Vance is writing from CSP in Caiipatria, California. Geri wants
to share a quicic poem with all you readers out there. So give a
moment of your time and soaic some of this icnowiedge in your brain.
I speak what my heart sense, so judge the intent
Pitch my tent amongst the chimps within the splintered
For my relent was what it meant, to bring offense and to
And to avenge what they amend against the brood within
Can one contend, against what won't rescind because
it's cup had peaked at brim
So remote to reach it's end will cause it's potenance to
For the woes of me sits in the layer of skin beneath
The chance is none to slim of one of us becoming them
For it's origins are of the concubines that cluster to the
Offered in a basket of moth bitted fruit
Dilutes its absolute into a hymn of the flute
It's affliction self induced if it convinces it to stoop
It Has heen 10 if ears since I Knew of this
pMhiication and it has heen an honor and a
privilege to Know if on all In a huge waif ntif
printed expressions have helped me grow
and see who I am, and tfon all have helped
me grow and see who I am and if on all have
helped me hecome a manjnst hif ifonr snp-
port and free pnhlication, for that I am in
great deht for tfonr time.
read the rest ofleremtf Towner's 3W0 piece on page 55